Five reasons the Northland Journey, the Ancient Kauri Trail, is perfect for tree lovers
The Ancient Kauri Trail wanders along the Kauri Coast, encountering the dramatic contrasts of rugged west coast beaches and peaceful kauri forests. Follow in the footsteps of the kauri loggers and gum diggers of days gone by. But tread lightly on your journey, for the time has now come for us to play our part in protecting these majestic icons. Here’s five reasons the Ancient Kauri Trail is perfect for tree lovers and outdoor adventurers:
1. The history of kauri trees at the Kauri Museum
There’s so much to uncover at this fascinating museum. See the world’s largest kauri slab, walk inside life size recreations of pioneer homes, visit a working mill with operational machinery and view the biggest and best collection of golden honey-coloured kauri gum in the world! Discover the story of our ancient kauri, and the people who have carved their livelihoods from these magnificent trees.
2. The views from Tokatoka Peak
Climb to the summit of Tokatoka Peak for spectacular 360 views of the Kaipara. The mountain is actually plug of an ancient volcano – a rare phenomenon. Over time the material around the plug has eroded and the hardened lava core is all the remains. Tokatoka peak is of great significance to local Māori and appears in their mythology and history. It’s a short, sharp climb to the peak and takes around 20 minutes. In the pioneering days, the river pilot would climb this volcanic peak to watch for ships.
3. The magnificent stand of kauri at Trounson Kauri Park
If you love forest walks, you won’t be disappointed by this one. Trounson Kauri Park is a 586-hectare reserve known for its impressive stand of kauri trees - one of the Aotearoa New Zealand’s best examples. It’s home to several threatened species, including North Island brown kiwi, kereru, pekapeka and kauri snails. An easy 40-minute loop walk makes it a great option for families and people of all fitness levels. Visit at night for the opportunity to hear and see kiwi in the wild!
4. The Lord of the forest, Tāne Mahuta in Waipoua Forest
You’ll feel instantly connected to nature as you enter the majestic Waipoua forest and walk amongst the magnificent giant kauri that live here. Meander along the boardwalk and soak up the tranquillity of this special place. This forest is home to many ancient kauri including the most famous of all, Tāne Mahuta – ‘The Lord of the Forest’. Standing before this approximately 2,000-year-old you’ll know you’re in the presence of greatness. 4.4 metres in diameter and 51.2 metres tall, you’ll feel pint-sized in comparison. Waipoua Forest is also home to Te Matua Ngahere – 'Father of the Forest' – which is estimated to be between 2,500 and 3,000 years old. Take a guided tour of these ancient trees by day, night or twilight, for a real sense of the spiritual connection with our oldest living treasures.
5. The kauri-infused history of Kohukohu
Catch the ferry from Rāwene to Kohukohu and take a stroll around this quaint seaside town. It is home to numerous heritage buildings from the Kauri milling days. Back then, Kohukohu was the largest town on the Hokianga Harbour. The Kohukohu Historic Village Walk gives you a window into the town’s past. Today, Kohukohu is a vibrant hub for creatives and home to a number of artists. Visit one of the galleries that line the water’s edge to take a look at the local talent.