Northland Kauri

Northland is a region at the top of the North Island starting just north of Wellsford and continuing to the top of the Northland Peninsula.

There are many reasons to visit Northland, one is to see the mighty kauri tree Tane Mahuta and to learn about the kauri industry. The kauri industry played a key role in Northland’s history and development and kauri trees continue to draw visitors to the area today.

Kauri boats and furniture at Matakohe Kauri Museum

Kauri boats and furniture at Matakohe Kauri Museum

Below is a list of kauri related places to visit, website links and books for those interested in a kauri themed trip around Northland. If anyone knows of other galleries, walks etc that I could add just let me know.

Ancient Kauri Kingdom, 229 State Highway, Awanui
Climb the staircase carved inside a massive kauri log at Ancient Kauri Kingdom. It’s incredible, especially when you know the details – the staircase was carved from a 50 tonne section of a kauri tree that was at least 45,000 years old. The entire tree weighed an estimated 140 tonnes and was perfectly preserved in a peat swamp.

The staircase was carved first and then Ancient Kauri Kingdom was built around it. The staircase has a price tag of US$2.5 million, but maybe you’d need to buy the shop as well.

Internal kauri log staircase at Ancient Kauri Kingdom

Internal kauri log staircase at Ancient Kauri Kingdom

Much smaller kauri products are also sold instore and there is a cafe with a good selection of food at reasonable prices. Pay your respects to ‘Old Father Time’ on the way out, or take him home for $75,000. You pass Ancient Kauri Kingdom if you’re travelling to Gumdiggers Park and Cape Reinga so it’s a convenient stop to make.

Old Father Time at Ancient Kauri Kingdom

Old Father Time at Ancient Kauri Kingdom

Nelson’s Kaihu Kauri Gallery, State Highway 12, Kaihu (29.5km from Dargaville)
Don’t whistle by Nelson’s Kaihu Kauri Gallery, call in and see the beautiful kauri treasures. Kauri tables are made to order, and the gallery has some of the best kauri gum jewellery I saw on our travels. Click over to Facebook to see  photos.

Kauri Creations, 5 Nell Place, Whangarei
We didn’t visit Kauri Creations but they are especially well known for their kauri clocks.

Museums with Kauri Collections
Far North Regional Museum in Kaitaia

Dargaville Museum – Gum Diggers Hall

The Kauri Museum in Matakohe (blog post)

Warkworth District Museum and Parry Kauri Park

Polished kauri gum at Matakohe Kauri Museum

Polished kauri gum at Matakohe Kauri Museum

Kauri Gumdigging Site
Gumdiggers Park near Awanui (blog post)

Kauri Walks
Waipoua Forest – seven walking and tramping tracks looked after by Department of Conservation (State Highway 12 between Omapere and Dargaville)

Kauri Dam Walk (Tangihua Forest, half way between Whangarei and Dargaville)

Trounson Kauri Park (40km north of Dargaville)

Tane Moana Kauri Track, Tutukaka Coast

AH Reed Kauri Walk, Whangarei

Guided Kauri Walks
Footprints Waipoua, Omapere

Adventure Puketi, Bay of Islands

Cycle Trail
Kauri Coast Cycleway

Drive Northland’s Byways
You can download The Ancient Kauri Trail from Northland’s official tourism site –

Campbell, P. (2007) Kauri Cameraman – Tudor Washington Collins 1898 – 1970. New Zealand: Configuration Design.
Ell, G. (1996) King Kauri: tales and traditions of the kauri country of New Zealand.  New Zealand: Bush Press.
Hanna, N. & Menefy, D. (2008) Kapia – New Zealand Kauri Gum. New Zealand: Jade Press.
Hayward, B. (1982) Kauri Gum and the Gum Diggers. New Zealand: Bush Press Communications.
Orwin, J. (2004) Kauri: witness to a nation’s history. New Zealand: New Holland Publishers.
​Reed, A.H. (1948) The Gumdigger: The Story of Kauri Gum. New Zealand: A.H. & A.W. Reed.
Stewart K. (2008) Kauri. New Zealand: Penguin/Viking.

2 thoughts on “Northland Kauri

  1. oh I love the kauri museum, we use to live in Mangawhai and Maungaturoto so there’s been a few occasions where I visited there with my 3 children.

    • One of the random things I will always remember about visiting the museum is going to the cafe opposite and seeing a kumara top pie in the cabinet. I’d never seen one before, lots of potato tops sure, but I guess for Northlanders it’s nothing new. (For visitors – Northland grows most of the kumara (sweet potato) sold in New Zealand).

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