Get up close TĀNE MĀHUTA: LORD OF THE FOREST
NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group
Only a commanding presence can silence the orchestral birdsong of dense New Zealand bush. No one who walks through native forest walks alone; Aotearoa's native birds are warblers, chirpers, singers and performers who love nothing more than an audience. But travel a short distance into the Waipoua Forest, turn a slight bend in the boardwalk, and find that all noise fades away. Such is the presence of Tāne Māhuta, New Zealand's tallest kauri tree. For thousands of years, Tāne has stretched its limbs upwards and slowly grown thicker and more rotund. It is a tree with mana, with power; withstanding bad weather, climate change, fire, flood, loggers, settlers and kauri dieback over the past millennium or two. Tāne Māhuta is named for the Māori god of the forest, who brought light and life to the world by separating his parents, Ranginui — the Sky Father — and Papatūānuku — the Earth Mother. He covered Papatūānuku with a forest cloak that still blankets his feet. Tāne Māhuta lives in the depths of the Waipoua Forest. It is marked with a large entrance and is easily accessible by a 165m well-maintained track.