It was a case of one Kiwi giant meeting another when basketball star Steven Adams visited Waipoua Forest last week.

At 2.13m (7 feet) tall, Rotorua-born Adams is used to towering over other people, but even the star centre for the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team felt small when confronted by 51m Tane Mahuta, New Zealand's largest kauri.

 Assistant coach Andrew Johns, left, and Steven Adams outside Te Whare Runanga.
Assistant coach Andrew Johns, left, and Steven Adams outside Te Whare Runanga.

Adams was in Northland on a tiki tour organised by NZ Maori Tourism, which began on Tuesday with a welcome at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

Guide Dan Busby points out the sights at the Treaty Grounds.
Guide Dan Busby points out the sights at the Treaty Grounds.

On Wednesday, the keen fisherman spent the day on the water of the Bay of Islands with teammate Andre Roberson, assistant coach Andrew Johns and their entourage; on Thursday they headed west to the Hokianga, for some down time and a few hoops in the grounds of Omapere's Copthorne Hotel.

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Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Steven Adams visits the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.
Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player Steven Adams visits the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

That was followed by a welcome from Snow Tane, of Te Roroa, and a forest walk with acclaimed Maori tourism company Footprints Waipoua, their guides providing information, singing songs and chants and playing the koauau (flute) along the way.

Steven Adams rests on the waka Mataatua during an explanation of how the canoes are built.
Steven Adams rests on the waka Mataatua during an explanation of how the canoes are built.

Koro Carman, Footprints Waipoua promotions manager, said the two gentle giants facing off was "a sight to behold."

Oklahoma City Thunder player Andre Roberson accepts the challenge laid down by Marsh King of Kaikohe
Oklahoma City Thunder player Andre Roberson accepts the challenge laid down by Marsh King of Kaikohe

The group returned to Auckland yesterday to take part in the Steven Adams Invitational Celebrity Golf Tournament, a fundraiser for the Sports Pathway Trust.

Andre Roberson with the taki he picked up during the challenge outside the carved meeting house Te Whare Runanga.
Andre Roberson with the taki he picked up during the challenge outside the carved meeting house Te Whare Runanga.