Northland – Seas and Trees

Words cannot convey the scale of a view that is so stunning it is felt.

The Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

Northland – East and West

From Kerikeri: Doubtless Bay on the east coast for peninsula beaches, coastal walks, and climbs. West for ancient GIANT trees. Words fail…the images remain.

Coastal Spectacular – Mahinepua Peninsula

One of the most beautiful NZ walking tracks is 40 minutes north of Kerikeri. The track begins at a , a historic Māori defensive settlement, with 270 box steps, on the ridge track.

The reward!

Climbing St. Paul’s Rock

A 600 meter climb above the town of Whangaroa (fahn-a-row-uh). The harbor is a jewel in the middle of multiple bays and beaches.

Doubtless Bay Beaches

Mangonui Cable Bay – “almost pink” sand

Mangonui Coopers Beach – golden sand, pohutukawa trees – 2.5 km stroll

Karikari Peninsula – white sandy beaches and bays. The name means “good natured, friendly and kind”.

To the West – Signal Station

Waimamaku Coastal Track to Hokianga Harbor/Tasman Sea – (rained out, but the start is crazy beautiful)

Oldest and Biggest Kauri Trees

The Kauri forests, unique to Northland, were mostly destroyed for farmland. Today the occasional stands of trees left standing by the settlers (e.g. Waipoua and Pokita Kauri Forests) are under threat from Kauri Dieback Disease, a microscopic spore in the soil that infects the shallow roots, for which there is no cure. It can be spread by a pinhead of soil. Once infected, there is no stopping the death of the tree. The only way to save kauri is to clean shoes and gear and stay off kauri roots. 

It was moving to visit these giants:

  • Largest known Kauri, Tane Mahuta – Lord of the Forest, 2000 yrs. Ht 169 ft; Girth 45 ft
  • And his brother, Te Matua Ngahere – Father of the Forest, 1500 years. Ht 98 ft; Girth 54 ft

Gum Diggers Park

Not far from Cape Reinga are 2 ancient Kauri Forests buried by cataclysmic prehistoric events leaving globs of sticky gum in the soils and swamps.

From the 19th century Gum Diggers mined the tree gum (sap) from hand-dug gum pits that unearthed Kauri trees. Exported to make floor varnish, the pits were abandoned by the 1930s as cheaper materials were invented for making varnish.

Amber is hardened/fully fossilized Kauri gum.

NZ protects and replants Kauri by tens of thousands in the north of North Island. There are still giants amongst us. If these old souls could talk.

Advice From A Tree

Stand tall and proud

Go out on a limb

Remember your roots

Drink plenty of water

Enjoy the view!

Ilan Shamir

Previous Northland Posts

Next: Daytrips inland from Paihia

9 thoughts on “Northland – Seas and Trees

  1. So interesting about the kauri trees. While I knew about their vulnerability to disease, I did not know about the amber. It’s beautiful! Did you purchase a souvenir by chance?

    1. The amber is beautiful ..the extraction process…was not cool. Yes. I bought a souvenir…it is a rough, unique gemstone, certified as 44,839 years old. One side is pretty polished, the other side left raw. My plan was to buy a nicer piece at the Kauri/Gum museum near Dargaville, but we never made it to that area. Ran out of time!

  2. The places you have visited in NZ are just beautiful. Wow! What a trip.

    1. Yes…it’s been a tremendous 14 months. All things don’t one to an end, we will be back soon. But it will take weeks for me to catch up on my posts.

  3. I can’t imagine how you can go back to anywhere without being sensory deprived! Just when you think it can’t get any better, it does! Beyond words to describe the beauty!

  4. My heart sings absorbing the glorious beauty of this land and this soul, these trees and you two. So grateful xo

  5. New Zealand is breathtaking. It’s now on my must visit list. Love the shades of blue/green ocean, the magnificent green fields/hills and the shapes of the monster trees. Thank you for sharing your adventure💖

  6. March 7, 2021 — 7:17 am


  7. Soooooo amazingly beautiful and beyond that …. thanxso much for njoying from here

Comments are closed.

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close