Wood: The Tree-logy... The Ancient Kauri Kingdom, Tane Mahuta and The Kauri Museum

Matakohe Travel Blog

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The Ancient Kauri Kingdom

Another night in the car meant another treat, so what better way to start the day with a big, fat, juicy English breakfast at The Ancient Kauri Kingdom and Café, fill me up baby!!

 

The Ancient Kauri Kingdom in Awanui is an amazing showroom of handcrafted products, fine art and impressive furniture made in house from the old Kauri logs dug up locally.  These trees are said to be 45000 years old and their diameter is massive, try wrapping your little arms around one of these big boys… you’ll need at least 6 to 8 people!  Seriously, these logs are gigantic and they have been perfectly preserved for thousands of years lying under peat swamps, sealed from the air.

Kauri logs
  The grain is beautiful, polished to a mirror finish with a deep golden colour and soft to the touch.  All products on display are for sale, but keep in mind that the uniqueness of each 45000 year old piece comes at a price, so bring your credit card, re-mortgage your house and have an ambulance on standby… My favourite piece is a beautiful staircase entirely carved within a Kauri Log, pretty impressive and massive!     

 

That was an interesting stop, back on the road I went passed Kaitai and over to Ranglora, where I jumped on the Hokianga Vehicle Ferry and joined state highway 12 on the other side, south borne along the west coast.  This took me straight through Waipoua Forest, which is home to the largest living Kauri tree in New Zealand, Tane Mahuta, the lord of the forest.

Bottom of staircase carved from one log
  This is one big piece of wood!  Hey, with a trunk girth of 13.8 metres I bet he’s popular with the ladies :-)  The photos don’t do him any justice, you really have to walk personally through the forest amongst tall trees and come across this big beast, it looks totally unreal.  It is said to be around 2000 years old.

 

My final stop to complete this wood-tastic day was a visit to the Kauri Museum in Matakohe. I got there a little late unfortunately, with just 1 and a half hours to spare, and the museum was so interesting that I could have easily spent much longer.  There are many rooms to explore: like the Sawmill, with all the tools and machinery to saw the logs into timber; Volunteers Hall, with a massive 22.

top of staircase carved from one log
5 metre long kauri slab in the middle, various pieces of furniture and a mural showing the cross-section of the largest Kauri trees to be recorded (the first one being Tane Mahuta and the biggest one the Giant Kauri Ghost, with a trunk girth of 26.83 metres!!); Smith Wing, with more equipment for transporting logs, milling timber and felling trees; Ross Wing, with many carvings, timber panels, busts etc.;  and a Gum Room, with the world’s best Kauri gum display and some amazing carved pieces of NZ amber.  I’m not big on museums but this wonderful exhibition was really well presented and I totally enjoyed it.       

 

Conveniently, there’s one of those top ten holiday parks just next door to the Museum, so I checked in and had a good night sleep, dreaming of big trees and sharp carving knives…

alicegourmet says:
That's really cool!
Posted on: Jan 05, 2009
hummingbird50 says:
Wow...take a peek at my blog..called Chee-What..oldest living red cedar tree in Canada..Here on Vancouver Island Still living :):):) thanks for sharing these great photos...they are awesome!!!!!
Posted on: Jan 05, 2009
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The Ancient Kauri Kingdom
The Ancient Kauri Kingdom
Kauri logs
Kauri logs
Bottom of staircase carved from on…
Bottom of staircase carved from o…
top of staircase carved from one l…
top of staircase carved from one …
Dinner table
Dinner table
I think the bed alone cost $35000!…
I think the bed alone cost $35000…
Lovely jubbly finish
Lovely jubbly finish
workshop
workshop
unfinished pieces
unfinished pieces
Tane Mahuta, the biggest living Ka…
Tane Mahuta, the biggest living K…
Check out that trunk!!
Check out that trunk!!
Wood cutting equipment
Wood cutting equipment
Sawmill.  Blade sharpening equipme…
Sawmill. Blade sharpening equipm…
Sawmill.  Cutting into planks
Sawmill. Cutting into planks
Sawmill.  Squaring logs equipment
Sawmill. Squaring logs equipment
Kauri furniture
Kauri furniture
Volunteers Hall:  Mural of cross-s…
Volunteers Hall: Mural of cross-…
Volunteers Hall:  Kauri slab, the …
Volunteers Hall: Kauri slab, the…
Volunteers Hall
Volunteers Hall
Smith Wing
Smith Wing
Smith Wing, log transporting equip…
Smith Wing, log transporting equi…
Kauri Gum Collection
Kauri Gum Collection
Gum Room
Gum Room
insets caught in gum
insets caught in gum
a lizard caught in gum
a lizard caught in gum
Matakohe
photo by: rrrenata