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

At 2.13m (7 ft) 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-tall Tane Mahuta, New Zealand's largest kauri.

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

On Wednesday the keen fisherman spent the day on the water of the Bay of Islands with team-mate 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.


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, performing song and chants and playing the koauau (flute) along the way.

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

"You could feel the respect given to the giants who have stood silently witnessing the passing time," he said.

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