What is Footprints Waipoua?
Footprints Waipoua is 1 of 2 NZ and 84 GLOBAL Lonely Planet Code Green Experiences of a Lifetime. This tour company led by knowledgeable local Maori guides who share the stories and secrets of the magical and wondrous Waipoua Forest. Visitors universally rave about the intimate, interactive and informative tours which make the experience extra special and unique, shown by their near-perfect rating on TripAdvisor.
But before we fully get into that, let’s talk a bit about the forest itself, and why thousands have flocked from all corners of the world to see it.
History of Waipoua Forest
Waipoua Forest is best known in New Zealand for having two of the largest living kauri trees named Te Matua Ngahere and Tane Mahuta. Kauri trees are native to New Zealand and known for their enormous size. Te Matua Ngahere and Tane Mahuta rise in excess of 50 metres, have trunk girths of around 16 meters and are estimated to be over 2,000 years old. Tane Mahuta is the third largest tree in the world by volume!
Waipoua Forest connects with the Mataraua and Waima Forests making it the largest area of native bush in Northland which was declared a sanctuary in 1952 and is protected by the Department of Conservation. The forest has a long connection with local Maori known as the Te Roroa Iwi (people of Te Roroa) which continues to this day.
Waipoua Forest is situated an hours drive north of Dargaville in Northland.
Tours of Waipoua Forest by Footprints Waipoua
Footprints Waipoua run several different tours depending on your own preferences and how you want to experience the forest. Each offers something a little bit different whilst all being wonderfully unique.
The most popular tour is the Twilight Encounter, a 4-hour tour. Meet the Four Sisters, Te Matua Ngahere and Tane Mahuta all the while you witness the forest transition from day to night. Imagine the sky is a blanket of shimmering stars and standing before you are the giant silhouettes of ancient sentinels and if that wasn’t enough your Maori guide sings. This is a very spiritual place and is enhanced when the sun goes down. Learn more about the deep spiritual respect Maori have for the trees and surrounding area.
The Daylight Encounter allows you to explore the Waipoua Forest in all its glory under the sun. Led by a Maori guide, you’ll learn about the ecosystem and plants and how Maori used them in traditional ways. You’ll also be introduced to the Maori creation story and experience that is both fascinating and moving.
Meet Tane at night
For those whose travel schedule is pressing then the 90-minute Meet Tane at Night tour has been created with you in mind. Enjoy a short walk before connecting with Tane Mahuta the ‘Lord of the Forest’. The feeling at night is something that has to be experienced. The crowds have dispersed and the silence is deafening. Recharge the batteries.
A nice 40-minute tour that takes you directly through Waipoua to Tane Mahuta which is both educational and memorable. A popular choice for families and a great way to introduce children to the Maori culture and the marvels of nature.
A life-changing experience
No matter how you think you’ll feel on arrival, expectations are almost always surpassed during a Footprints Waipoua tour. Photos don’t do them justice and words cannot describe them adequately. If you are seeking an authentic cultural and eco experience then look no further than this experience of a lifetime.
GO Play discount: 10%
GO Play cardholders enjoy a 10% discount at Footprints Waipoua. Book direct through them today using your GO Play card!