Tāne Mahuta

Tāne Mahuta

Tāne Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) is New Zealand’s tallest known kauri tree at around 2,000 years old. The tree was first recorded in the 1920s when contractors were surveying the passage for the present State Highway 12 through Waipoua Forest.

In Māori mythology, Tāne is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatūānuku the earth mother. Tāne was the child that tore apart his parents’ embrace and clothed his mother in the forest. Hence, all living forest creatures are Tāne’s children.

It is an easy walk to the tree, less than 5 minutes. Even if you have seen other big kauri, Tāne Mahuta is stunning in its dominance of the surrounding forest. To get a broader view from further back, walk further along the track to a second viewing platform.

The walk is off State Highway 12, which takes you directly through Waipoua Forest, thick with large kauri. There are obvious car parks for tracks to Tāne Mahuta and Te Matua Ngahere. Drive north from Dargaville or south from the Hokianga Harbour – about 45 to 50 minutes either way.

You can also camp near the old visitor centre off Waipoua River Road.

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