Four of the best places... to admire towering kauri

Kauri are the kings of the New Zealand forest and these are some of the best places to see them...

Waipoua Kauri Forest, Northland. Photo / Catherine Tudhope, DOC
Waipoua Kauri Forest, Northland. Photo / Catherine Tudhope, DOC

1. Puketi and Omahuta Kauri Forests, Northland

Located near Kerikeri, these forests combine to form one of the largest continuous tracts of native forest in Northland at 15,000 hectares. Signposted from SH10 south of Kaeo, there are many tracks and walks, and accommodation is available at the Puketi Recreational Area with campsites, huts and lodges for hire. Easy walking for all ages.

2. Waipoua Forest, Northland

On Northland's west coast, between Dargaville and Omapere, this is where Tane Mahuta reaches for the sky. The drive along SH12 winds through magnificent stands of tall kauri, rimu and northern rata. Good walking tracks give easy access to the most spectacular attractions of the forest.

There are longer tramping tracks and routes available, especially in the high plateau and ranges.

3. Trounson Kauri Park, Northland

This 586-hectare reserve is in western Northland and home to gorgeous trees as well as North Island brown kiwi, kukupa (NZ pigeon), pekapeka (bats) and kauri snails and some groovy weta, as well as many other species. In 1890, 3.34 hectares was initially set aside by the government of the day when the timber industry threatened to wipe out the forests. The track is an easy 30-40 minutes.

4. Hakarimata Loop Walk, Waikato

This short, sweet Waikato walk is perfect for children. The track starts at the Parker Rd car park, off Hakarimata Rd between Ngaruawahia and Huntly. It begins with a long flight of stairs then levels out. Walk on past an old pa site, through regenerating native bush to a large kauri tree.

* Please take all precautions to prevent Kauri Dieback Disease which is a big threat to these forests.

- NZ Herald

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