Short, beautiful drive from Kaitaia with a ferry ride across Hokianga harbor to get to Opononi.
Vibrant green pastures
Taking the backroad down to Opononi gave me a chance to see the vibrant green pastures in the more rural areas. Reminded me so much of the Oregon coast (with a few fern trees thrown in)
I stayed in Opononi, on the shores of Hokianga Harbor ... My first taste of the west coast of NZ! I'm here to visit the Waipoua Forest and see some of the oldest and largest Kauri trees in NZ.
Looking across the harbor
Looking west towards the Tasman Sea and Waitapu on the right ...
Peaceful respite ...
Looking south towards Arai-Te-Unu
On the track to meet the kauri giants
Funny how you imagine a "forest" and reality. This is on our walk in the Waipoua Forest in to meet some of the the largest and oldest kauri trees in New Zealand.
Te Matua Ngāhere
The "Father of the Forest"; who at 3,000 years is the oldest kauri giant in the world. It is the most revered of the NZ Kauri trees. Visiting with a maori guide made it not only a cultural experience but an intensely spiritual visit.
The largest kauri tree in NZ, Tane Mahuta, like Te Matua Ngāhere, it is held as highly sacred in the maori culture.
Tane Mahuta is the largest Kauri tree in NZ. Kauri trees grow upwards, shedding branches until the clear the forest canopy at which point they spread the branches. Tane Mahuta is 58' to the first branches and 42' in diameter (similiar in breadth to the giant redwoods)