Some rare things merit the very overused adjective, awesome.
Tane Mahuta is such a one. This tree, dating back some 1200 years, reminds you how insignificant we humans are. The trunk is some six metres across, has a girth of 13.8 metres, and the lowest branches are 18 metres above the ground. You might expect a huge canopy of branches and leaves, but there isn’t one. Tane Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, wants plants at its base, but under the ground its shallow roots spread out in a wide circle.
It stands in the Waipoua Kauri Forest. The Forest is threatened by Kauri dieback, so strict footwear hygiene must be observed.
We drove from Doubtless Bay, Mangonui to take the ferry from Narrows to Rawene, where I spotted avocados being sold outside someone’s house for a dollar each. Malcolm bought two. I took pictures of two boathouses now being used for other purposes. Then it was onwards and upwards, mainly upwards, to the Waipoura Kauri Forest. Lyn was at the wheel. We had a couple of stops where I climbed out of the car to take photos.
New Zealand was not behind the door when scenery was handed out. Breathtaking, green, magnificent; awesome. On our coach trip on Wednesday we went to Cape Reinga. It was a long way from home. However hard I found the long flight from London, it was much easier than Kupe’s journey here to Aotearoa from Hawaiki. We watched as waves from the Pacific met waves from the Tasman Sea, causing frothing circles. Reaching the lighthouse we passed several information boards. It was very well done, and I felt surprisingly moved. It felt a fitting place for spirits to be leaping to their homes in an ever afterlife.
The trip had started and ended at the Ancient Kauri Factory at Awanui. It’s the Kauri that’s ancient, not the factory, which was once a dairy.My guide book, printed 12 years ago, recommended watching the wood being hewn into a variety of shapes, but that was no longer an option. We did see the results though. Wonderful tactile objects inside the show room; less polished wood sculptures outside. I took a fancy to this one, damaged and presumably felled by weather, featuring various creatures.
Anyway, it was a good introduction to the importance of the Kauri tree, and its significance in both Maori culture and local economy.
So one more picture of New Zealand’s oldest tree, Tane Mahuta.