This short walk leads you under cooling shade of the forest canopy to the majestic Tāne Mahuta, New Zealand's largest living kauri tree.
Not far into the walk, a sweeping corner of the track suddenly brings you face to face with the ‘Lord of the Forest’. When you catch your first breath-taking view of this magnificent tree, you'll feel compelled to pause for a while. You can almost feel Tāne Mahuta’s strength and ancient presence, and its overwhelming size makes visitors look like dwarfs.
There is a wooden fence and a seat to view the tree. To get a broader view of Tāne Mahuta, you can move further along the track, which then leads to another viewing platform.
The Tāne Mahuta Walk is signposted from SH12, which runs through the Waipoua Forest. The southern township of Dargaville is 65 km away and the northern township of Omapere is 18 km.
The road widens at the Tāne Mahuta car park to accommodate visitor vehicles. There is a picnic area, and toilets located 25 m back from the car park on the opposite side of the road from the track entrance.
Nature and conservation
It is very important that you keep to the walking track at all times. Kauri trees have very sensitive surface roots, and foot traffic around the tree endangers their life span.
About Tane Mahuta
Tane Mahuta ('Lord of the Forest') is New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree. It is thought this tree was discovered and identified in the 1920s when contracted surveyors surveyed the present SH12 through the forest. In 1928, Nicholas Yakas and other bushmen, who were building the road, also identified the big tree Tane Mahuta.
According to Maori mythology Tane is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. Tane was the child that tore his parents' parental embrace and once done set about clothing his mother in the forest we have here today. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tane’s children.
- Trunk girth: 13.77 m
- Trunk height: 17.68 m
- Total height: 51.2 m
- Trunk volume: 244.5 m³
Know before you go
- Keep to the track at all times.
- In strong winds, beware of falling branches.