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Kauri tree (Agathis australis)

kauri tree

New Zealand's largest tree species is also one of the world's largest and longest living trees. The kauri is a conifer that is found north of about 38° south, at the top of the New Zealand's North Island. The tree has small narrow leaves and smooth bark. Kauri forests are some of the world's oldest and its ancestors date back to the Jurassic period, 190 million years ago.

The best living specimen of the kauri is an ancient tree known as Tāne Mahuta (meaning 'Lord of the Forest' in Maori). The tree is New Zealand's largest known living tree, with a height of 51.2m (168ft) and a 4.4m (14ft) diameter trunk. The tree is located in Waipoua Kauri Forest, Northland, and is thought to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old. According to Maori mythology, Tāne is the son of Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatuanuku, the earth mother, and he created the space and air where all living things dwell by pushing the sky and the earth apart with the strength of his legs. 

Kauri forests, now protected, were extensively logged from the mid-1800s onwards and by 1900 the majority of the forests had been cut down. The largest recorded kauri tree was known as the ‘The Great Ghost' and had a trunk diameter of 8.5m (28ft) prior to being killed by fire around 1890. The timber is very strong and was sought after for boat-building and house constructions. The gum for the trees has also been dug up from swamps and exported for use in linoleum and varnishes.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16032 reviews)

    Review of the Kiwi trip

    I chose to visit NZ with Active Adventures because I wanted to experience the South Island from tip to toe in an active fashion. The trip was exactly what I wanted. I loved hiking and kayaking, enjoyed visiting the towns and was swept away by the scenery. I learned a lot about the country's history, geology and mythology from my two guides. And I had fun.
    Barbara Delaney Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Kiwi, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16032 reviews)

    Professionalism and Exceptionalism Beyond Expectations!

    Our recent Tui trip of the South Island was absolutely the trip of a lifetime and more than I could have ever hoped for! As a very seasoned, frugal, independent, tour-averse traveller, signing up and spending the money for this trip was a bit out of character for me. However, that being said, this was probably the best travel investment I have ever made in my life! We packed so many amazing adventures into eight days, with the kindest most knowledgeable and most professional guides ever, that I seriously doubt I could have recreated it on my own. I cannot recommend Active Adventures and our guides Claire and Rachael highly enough and am already looking forward to and planning my next adventure this year with them!
    Chris Gan Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Tui, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16032 reviews)

    Rimu Was Extraordinary

    We have been dreaming of visiting New Zealand for a long time, we wanted to see and explore all the best sites in an active way, but doing this on our own would have been overwhelming! Active Adventures was the complete answer. They took us to the best places, sites and beautiful landscapes that we could only have dreamed about. Our group was small which allowed us all to bond, our guides Astrid and Steve could not have been better - fun, knowledgeable, organized and excellent cooks. I got the sense they really enjoyed what they do! I would strongly recommend this tour - a trip of a lifetime that words can’t describe - we will never forget it.
    Colleen Clark Review Image
    – Ontario, Canada
    Rimu, February 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16032 reviews)

    Kauri

    What an amazing introduction to the North Island. Every day was unique - starting with the hiking and boogie boarding on the sand dunes to seeing a kiwi released was exceptional. Walking through the rain forest and seeing the phenomenal kauri trees are memories we will treasure forever!
    Ben Thorlakson Review Image
    – Alberta, Canada
    Kauri, January 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16032 reviews)

    South Island Rimu Trip

    My South Island trip was outstanding, even with the cyclone that came ashore on the second day! The itinerary needed to be changed because of all the washed out roads to places that we were suppose to venture to. Our guides, Jackie and Carrie, came up with new plans that were great. A mark of a good company is when they can handle unexpected events, such as a cyclone, and still provide their guest with a trip of a life time. Thank you A.A. for a great and safe trip!
    Pete Orefice Review Image
    – Connecticut, United States
    Rimu, February 2018

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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