If you’re visiting New Zealand, you’ll have lots of opportunities to explore its natural
environment. Apart from its beautiful landscapes, there’s one tree that you need to meet. This is not just any ordinary tree but the country’s oldest and most popular and the world’s largest living tree of its kind.
The Tane Mahuta is a giant kauri tree in New Zealand’s northland region. It is known as the largest of its kind still in existence today. Found in the Waipoua Forest, this tree is
estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old.
Reports have it that this huge tree was discovered in the 1920’s. The first to have found it were the surveyors who were then working on the State Highway 12. Eight years later in 1928, Nicholas Yakas and other Bushmen also identified the giant kauri tree.
The story behind this tree is based on Maori mythology. Tane is said to be the son of the sky father Rangiuni and earth mother Papatuanuku. He was known as the child who broke his parent’s embrace and then clothed his mother in the forest. It is also told that all the other living creatures found in the forest are the children of Tane. The name Tane Mahuta literally means Lord of the Forest.
New Zealand’s famous giant tree measures 13.77 meters at its trunk girth and stands at 51.2 meters tall. To get there, there is a short track available. A wooden fence and a seat are also in place to allow visitors to view the tree. Another viewing platform is available if you’d like to move further along the track.
Visitors need to keep in mind to walk along the track only at all times. The reason is that kauri trees have very sensitive surface roots and when they’re stepped on by people, the tree’s life span can be affected.
To reach the Waipoua Forest, you need to go to the State Highway 12. A sign that says The Tane Mahuta Track is posted there. There’s a car park, a picnic area and toilets in place for the convenience of visitors. Make it a family outing and visit this extraordinary wonder.