Birds of the forest


Kereru (Pigeon)

Native to NZ













Kiwi (NZ's Icon)

Native to NZ















Native to NZ
















































History of the Kauri and Rimu


NZ's forest icon -

The mighty Kauri -- Tane Mahuta "Lord of the Forest"


Tane Mahuta "Lord of the Forest"


I was not born when the earth shuddered and my home was wrenching from its parents, but my ancestors survived this monumental upheaval and we have become one of the oldest existing conifer families.


I was already mature when the first Polynesians settlers came and named this land “Aotearoa” the land of the long white cloud. They came regularly into my home and took my neighbours foliage and occasionally cut down one of my relatives. Before their night visits there were only the sounds of the night bird (KIWI) calling to its mate down the valley, and the occasional hoot of the night hunter, the (OWL).




Have we lost touch with nature?


Laminated products are churned out to feed the constant demand for low cost work tops, office furniture etc. Now advance technology can simulate natural products are we losing sight of what makes these products unique?


Today some people see the white specks and lines in Swamp Kauri as blemishes, but it is dried resin which is one of its distinctive features. The resin forms where there is new growth or damaged branches, and the Kauri excreted gum which hardens when in comes in contact with air. This generally fell to the ground and was buried by forest debris and was fossilised. It has some similar characteristic to Amber which is another much older fossilised resin found in the Northern Hemisphere...


The giant trees have been preserved in peat for thousands of years. Test. As Carbon dating is only accurate to 45,000 years we can only speculate how long these trees have languished in the peat bogs


The gum is highly flammable, and the Maoris used it before the Pakeha (Europeans} arrived to start their fires or bound it in flax to produce torches. As more settlers arrived a whole industry evolved around the digging and extracting the gum from the Kauri tree. The gum extracts were used in varnish and extensively in linoleum


Instead of rejecting those white particles in the Swamp Kauri, why not buy one of the many books on the Kauri to accompany your gift so the recipient can read the Kauri’s fascinating story and see they have a unique gift.


Today you can learn about this magnificent tree and the industries which grew up because of its existence by visiting the Kauri Museum who tell the story of the Kauri and its early pioneers. Footprints tours in the Waipoua forest captures the atmosphere experienced by the early Maoris and demonstration how flammable the gum is. 


Whilst the Gum Diggers Park at Awanui, in Northland is a genuine gum field and tells the fascinating story of the lives of the gum diggers and they explain about the catastrophe which caused the Kauri forest to fall



Highly polished Swamp Kauri - Swamp Kauri can be Carbon Dated 45,000 years



The Northland Forest Park containing 85% of all the Kauri trees remaining in New Zealand comprises of 17 forests. The magnificent, Kauri’s, straight, relatively knot-free trunk was one of the great inducements for settlement of these far-flung islands in the Pacific. The Kauri timber was used by many of the settlers. The Maori carved out their war canoes (Waka) from its huge trunk, the British Navy used it for masts and spars, and it was pit-sawn for settler’s homes It also provided valuable kauri gum. The giant sequoias of California are comparable to the Kauri in age and volume,


The main focus of the Kaipara DistrictsKauri Coast’ is the Waipoua Kauri Forest which is an area of managed Kauri groves and is the home of ‘Te Matua Ngahere’ and ‘Tane Mahuta’. ‘Te Matua Ngahere’  its  Maori name meaning The Father of the Forest,  is possibly 4,000 years old and has a girth of 5 metre. ‘Tane Mahuta’ its Maori name means "Lord of the Forest" and is the name of a god in the Maori pantheon. It is  the largest tree in New Zealand and has a trunk girth of 13.77m.


Two other important forest sanctuaries are the Trounson Kauri Park, north of Dargaville and Puketi Forest near Kerikeri.

NZ Rimu Tree

Rimu (Dacrydium cupressinum) is grown throughout New Zealand, and is the commonest, most widely distributed conifer, belonging to New Zealand’s largest conifer family. The old trees become susceptible to uprooting in strong winds and their valuable timber made it popular so they were no longer widespread in lowland forest.


It grows 50 meters high and its crown usually emerges above the main canopy of forest trees and needs well-drained fertile site. It generally has a life-span of 550–650 years but can live for more than 1,000 years. Rimu Seedlings will not grow in deep shade or on open, exposed sites, and mature trees often support a crop of perching plants on their upper branches.