Tāne Mahuta, Waipōua Forest. © itravelNZ® Creative Commons

Tāne Mahuta Walk


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Visit the famous Tāne Mahuta, Lord of the Forest, New Zealand's largest known living kauri tree, located in the Waipōua Forest.

About the walk

How long will it take? This is a 166m five-minute walk suitable for wheelchairs, buggies and people of all abilities.

This short walk leads you under the cooling shade of the forest canopy to the majestic Tāne Mahuta, New Zealand's largest living kauri tree. 

Not far into the walk, a sweeping corner of the track suddenly brings you face to face with the ‘Lord of the Forest’. When you catch your first breathtaking view of this magnificent tree, you'll feel compelled to pause for a while.

You can almost feel Tāne Mahuta’s strength and ancient presence, and its overwhelming size makes visitors look like dwarfs.

There is a wooden fence and a seat to view the tree. To get a broader view of Tāne Mahuta, you can move further along the track, which then leads to another viewing platform.

The Tāne Mahuta Walk is signposted from SH 12, which runs through the Waipōua Forest.

It is very important that you keep to the walking track at all times. Kauri trees have very sensitive surface roots, and foot traffic around the tree endangers their lifespan.

Tāne Mahuta is New Zealand’s largest known living kauri tree. It is thought this tree was discovered and identified in the 1920s when contracted surveyors surveyed the present SH 12 through the forest. In 1928, Nicholas Yakas and other bushmen, who were building the road, also identified the big tree Tāne Mahuta.

According to Māori mythology, Tane is the son of Rangi-nui the sky father and Papatūānuku the earth mother. Tāne was the child that tore his parents' parental embrace apart and once done set about clothing his mother in the forest we have here today. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tāne’s children.


  • Trunk girth: 13.77m
  • Trunk height: 17.68m
  • Total height: 51.2m
  • Trunk volume: 244.5m³

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