Big Trees in New Zealand’s Northland


It was pouring rain by the time we drove to the Kauri tree grove just south of Omapere in the Northland of New Zealand. It did not dampen our enthusiasm for these gorgeous big trees one bit. UK Sarah and I made this the main destination of Day One of our Northland road trip.

We left St Heliers in Auckland in the morning and arrived in Matakohe in time to see the Kauri Museum and eat lunch at a nearby cafe. The museum was a great way to understand the special attributes of this giant tree and its history. Unfortunately, it has a similar fate as California’s redwoods and there is only a remnant left.

We continued on Highway 12 getting lost only once. We stopped at the first grove and slipped into our raincoats. Sarah had an umbrella but I decided to rely on my slicker so I would have my hands free to take photos. Please pause to use the equipment provided to spray off your shoes so you do not introduce disease among the roots of these important legacy trees.

We stopped one more time at a second grove of trees. Then sopping wet and starting to get cold, we scooted to our hotel at the end of the highway in Omapere. We were staying at the Copthorne resort and it was terrific. The hotel room was very large and comfy with great views of the bay. The bar and restaurant was very good and we slept soundly. I could have stayed longer but there was more of the Northlands to see.

View from our hotel balcony.