What a beautiful drive through rolling countryside and Kauri forest. We left in the morning – getting a ride with a friend – from Ahipara, and arrived in Auckland that evening.
The Kauri Forest
By the mid 1900s most Kauri forests were cut down for the gum that can be extracted and used for industrial purposes. The “Gumdiggers” went so far as digging up or mining the ancient Kauri forests that had been buried 45,000 years ago by meteor debris (or something like that). They called it the poor man’s Gold Rush.
HOWEVER! A few ancient trees remain, and we were lucky enough to get to see them!
Tane Mahuta is the largest (tallest) of the Kauri trees in New Zealand, and he’s aproximatlely 2000 years old. Te Matua Ngahere is the widest Kauri, and is also about 2000 years old. Although Tane Mahuta is more well known, I found that Te Matua Ngahere was actually more impressive… some 8ish meters WIDE!
The trail got a little crazy in parts because some branches had blown down in the storm the night before… We surrived!