Heading south from the Hokianga Harbour area, you pass through farmland and arrive at Waimamaku, home to the daytime-only Morrell’s Café. The highway then twists and turns through nearly 20km of mature kauri in the WAIPOUA KAURI FOREST. Eight kilometres south of Waimamaku you reach a small car park, from where it’s a three-minute walk to New Zealand’s mightiest tree, the 2000-year-old Tane Mahuta, “God of the Forest”. A vast wall of bark 6m wide rises nearly 18m to the lowest branches, covered in epiphytes. A kilometre or so further south on SH12, a ten-minute track leads to a clearing where three paths split off to notable trees: the shortest (5min return) runs to the Four Sisters, relatively slender kauri all growing close together; a second path (30min return) winds among numerous big trees to Te Matua Ngahere, the “Father of the Forest”, the second-largest tree in New Zealand – shorter than Tane Mahuta but fatter and in some ways more impressive. The third path, the Yakas Track (3km return; 1hr), leads to Cathedral Grove, a dense conglomeration of trees, the largest being the Yakas Kauri, named after veteran bushman Nicholas Yakas.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

New Zealand features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

The most beautiful country in the world – as voted by you

There's nothing like an amazing view to inspire you to book your next trip, whether you're drawn by rolling countryside, isolated islands or soaring mountain …

30 Aug 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
How to find the right New Zealand for you

How to find the right New Zealand for you

While it may not loom large on the world map, New Zealand feels incredibly vast and imposing on the ground, especially to those who try to visit the North and S…

23 May 2016 • Eric Grossman insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month