Tane Mahuta Walk

Track category

Easy access short walk


5 min one way


166 m


Kauri "Tane Mahuta", Waipoua Kauri Forest. Photo: Les Molloy.
Tane Mahuta, New Zealand's largest living kauri

This short walk leads you under cooling shade of the forest canopy to the majestic Tane 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 Tane 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 Tane Mahuta, you can move further along the track, which then leads to another viewing platform.

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.  

View a track location map

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 State Highway 12 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

Getting there

The Tane Mahuta Walk 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 18 km.

The road widens at the Tane 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.

Plan and prepare

Help stop kauri dieback

Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

  • Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
  • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forests.

Visit the kauri dieback website for more information on how you can help.


  • In strong winds, please beware of falling branches.


  • There is no general store, petrol station or supermarket in Waipoua Forest.
  • The nearest petrol station is 28 km south at Kaihu  and 20 km north at Waimamaku.
  • No domestic pets are allowed on this track.
  • Hunting by permit only. You can get a permit free of charge from the Kauri Coast Office.
    Te Tai Kauri / Kauri Coast Office
    Phone:      +64 9 439 3450
    Email:   dargaville@doc.govt.nz
    Full office details

Track location map

Map of Waipoua Forest tracks.


Find out more


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Trounson Kauri Park

Find out more about kauri

Stop the spread of didymo
Check, Clean, Dry
all items before entering, and when moving between, waterways.


Total fire ban

There is a total fire ban within the Kaipara and Whangarei Districts, effective from 1 February 2015 until further notice.

Follow the Outdoor Safety Code

1. Plan your trip
2. Tell someone
3. Be aware of the weather
4. Know your limits
5. Take sufficient supplies

Alerts for Northland places


Te Tai Kauri / Kauri Coast Office
Phone:      +64 9 439 3450
Email:   dargaville@doc.govt.nz
Full office details

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