Giant Kauri Tree

Tāne Mahuta is a giant kauri tree (Agathis australis) in the Waipoua Forest of Northland Region, New Zealand. Its age is unknown but is estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years. It is the largest kauri known to stand today. Its Māori name means “Lord of the Forest”, from the name of a god in the Māori pantheon.

The tree is a remnant of the ancient subtropical rainforest that once grew on the North Auckland Peninsula. Other giant kauri are found nearby, notably Te Matua Ngahere. Tāne Mahuta is the most famous tree in New Zealand, along with Te Matua Ngahere. It is thought it was discovered (by Westerners, as it was already known to Maori) and identified in the 1920s when contractors surveyed the present State Highway 12 route through the forest. In 1928 Nicholas Yakas and other bushmen, who were building the road, also identified the tree.

According to the Maori creation myth, Tāne is the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatuanuku the earth mother. Tāne separates his parents from their marital embrace until his father the sky is high above mother earth. Tāne then sets about clothing his mother with vegetation. The birds and the trees of the forest are regarded as Tāne’s children.

During the New Zealand drought of 2013, 10,000 litres of water from a nearby stream was diverted to Tane Mahuta, which was showing signs of dehydration.

Measurements

Trunk girth 13.77 m (45.2 ft)
Trunk height 17.68 m (58.0 ft)
Total height 51.2 m (168 ft)
Trunk volume 244.5 m3 (8,630 cu ft)
Total volume 516.7 m3 (18,250 cu ft)
All the measurements above were taken in 1971. Only the total volume shown above is current. The most recent measurements may be found on the New Zealand Tree Register.