Sunday, December 27, 2015

land of the giants

Hokianga Harbour is a place of many wonders. 
Huge sand dunes, enormous tides, legendary dolphins, and the most magnificent trees of all. 
This kauri, Tane Mahuta or the lord of the forest, is about 2000 years old. It stands 51.5 meters tall and has a girth of nearly 14 meters. 
These four sisters share a root system. 

Te Matua Ngahere is nearly as big, with a girth of 16 meters. It was struck by lightning but continues to grow wider. 

Kauris have delicate, shallow roots, so the largest are protected with boardwalks and spraying stations to prevent further dieback. 
In California I've seen the world's tallest tree (Redwood NP), the widest tree (General Sherman in Sequoia NP), and the oldest tree (Methuselah at the Bristlecone Pine Forest), all in CA. But nothing prepared me for the majestic kauri forest. 
Tomorrow I'll be at the Kauri Museum learning more about local history.