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Kauri tree (Agathis australis)

kauri tree

New Zealand's largest tree species is also one of the world's largest and longest living trees. The kauri is a conifer that is found north of about 38° south, at the top of the New Zealand's North Island. The tree has small narrow leaves and smooth bark. Kauri forests are some of the world's oldest and its ancestors date back to the Jurassic period, 190 million years ago.

The best living specimen of the kauri is an ancient tree known as Tāne Mahuta (meaning 'Lord of the Forest' in Maori). The tree is New Zealand's largest known living tree, with a height of 51.2m (168ft) and a 4.4m (14ft) diameter trunk. The tree is located in Waipoua Kauri Forest, Northland, and is thought to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old. According to Maori mythology, Tāne is the son of Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatuanuku, the earth mother, and he created the space and air where all living things dwell by pushing the sky and the earth apart with the strength of his legs. 

Kauri forests, now protected, were extensively logged from the mid-1800s onwards and by 1900 the majority of the forests had been cut down. The largest recorded kauri tree was known as the ‘The Great Ghost' and had a trunk diameter of 8.5m (28ft) prior to being killed by fire around 1890. The timber is very strong and was sought after for boat-building and house constructions. The gum for the trees has also been dug up from swamps and exported for use in linoleum and varnishes.

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    The Most Beautiful Place in the World

    Thank you to Active Adventures for a most spectacular trip. I traveled with my daughter, to celebrate her college graduation, and my brother. The Kiwi people are the friendliest people on the planet. Our guides were extremely helpful, cooked awesome meals, and taught us so much about New Zealand. They took care of everything. All we had to do was sit back and enjoy the ride. The locations for the lodging were probably the best views in all the country. We stayed right in the center of Queenstown, next to a remote area of a lake with views of Mt. Cook, in a small towns next to the ocean. They were all very clean and neat, always with a pot of tea ready, and cookies for a snack. There was always an excess of food. No one ever went hungry. In fact, I don't think I ever ate so much on holiday. The activities were fun and varied, relaxing at times, strenuous on occasion but with awesome views as payback. I am recommending this trip to all my friends, and already planning the next one.
    Terri Donati Review Image
    – Colorado, United States
    Rimu, December 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    Exceeded all expectations

    Our Rimu trip truly exceeded all expectations. Our Active guides, Rachael and Gary were wonderful guides with so much knowledge to share with us about the New Zealand culture, wildlife, history, and geography that we encountered along the way. This was truly an adventure of a lifetime that my son and I will always treasure.
    Mia Byrne Review Image
    – Michigan, United States
    Rimu, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    Best trip I have ever taken

    There are many layers to this trip
    1. The Group - It was really fun being in a group, and our group was really fun! Sometimes I hung out with people in my family, sometimes I hung out with someone else in the group. This variety and freedom was very enjoyable.
    2. The Guides - Koru and Ash were sooo great. Koru is a polished, learned and experienced leader. Ash is a fabulous cook, so much fun, and cared about each of us on the trip.
    3. The Country - Stunning! We covered so much of the South Island that we were able to see many sides of it's weather and terrain. Really great route.
    4. Activities - It was great sharing a physical activity with others, something I know brings people together. Hiking was great. At the end of a long hike was a fabulous surprise, like a glacial lake with ice burgs, or a beautiful high-mountain vista, or a glo-worm tunnel. Biking was super fun, and I wish there had been one more day of it. In hind site I personally would have selected the biking 3day excursion. The kayaking was great. Heavy chop or glassy lakes, we kayaked in it.
    5. Accommodations - These were just great. As nice as it can be being out in the countryside. I loved how we all ate together every meal.
    5. Pace - I thought the trip was very well planned. Just when we needed a break in the beginning from jet lag, and our trip activities, a two day respite was there in Queenstown where we could recharge. I recharged and my family bungy jumped! Also, activities were structured so that the not so keen could bail out at a stopping point.
    Ginny Nayden Review Image
    – Maryland, United States
    Rimu, January 2017
  •   4.44 out of 5 (from 908 reviews)

    An Amazing Experience!

    I loved this trip!! We had a great group of 13, with two guides who were professional, flexible, knowledgeable and just as kind as could be. Every aspect of the trip was developed and planned to maximize our time and enjoyment!! The countryside is so beautiful it takes your breath away!! I highly recommend this trip!!
    Ellen Scopa Review Image
    – Massachusetts, United States
    Manuka, April 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 4983 reviews)

    An Unbelievable Experience

    The Rimu trip was beyond phenomenal! The sights we saw were breathtaking and the small group size allowed us all to bond and truly enjoy our time together exploring this magnificent country. Our guides were fantastic and provided lots of information and fun facts, along with a large amount of encouragement as we tackled some of our adventures! I'm still searching for words to describe just how great a trip it was!
    McKayla Anderson Review Image
    – Nebraska, United States of America
    Rimu, January 2018

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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