Standing more than 51 meters tall and with a trunk girth in excess of 13 meters, the Tāne Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) is New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree. Identified in the 1920s when surveyors were working on State Highway 12, which runs through the forest, the Tāne Mahuta believed to be somewhere between 1,250 and 2,500 years old.
A remnant of the ancient subtropical rainforest that once covered this section of the North Auckland Peninsula, Tāne Mahuta is named with Maori mythology in mind. In Maori, Tāne is the son of the sky father, and Papatuanuku the earth mother. All of the living creatures in the forest are considered to be Tāne’s children.
Tāne Mahuta is easily the most famous tree in all of New Zealand even though other massive kauri trees are located nearby.
Know Before You Go
The Tāne Mahuta Track is sign posted from State Highway 12, which runs through the Waipoua Forest. The southern township of Dargaville is 65 km away and the northern township of Omapere is 18km.