Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: Tāne Mahuta

with 24 comments

On a cloudy February 12th we visited Tāne Mahuta, about which Wikipedia says: “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’ (see Tāne), from the name of a god in the Māori pantheon.” If you’d like, you can read the rest of the article, which includes measurements.

The kauri trees in New Zealand suffered a fate similar to that of the sequoias and giant redwoods in California: in the 1800s and 1900s most got cut down for their wood.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 14, 2017 at 5:00 AM

24 Responses

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  1. I love that the birds and trees of the forest are considered Tāne Mahuta’s children, but I was even more touched by the diversion of water to the tree during the drought. It reminds me of a baobab: impassive, but approachable.


    March 14, 2017 at 4:21 PM

  2. Wow that is a big tree – a definite Ent 🙂


    March 14, 2017 at 5:51 PM

    • You and Steve Gingold have an Ent-erprise going. I’d never heard of an ent until he mentioned it in a comment last year or the year before. In any case, the kauri is a big tree, that’s for sure.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 14, 2017 at 6:40 PM

      • Too much reading LOTR 😉


        March 15, 2017 at 5:43 AM

        • At first I thought LOTR was on the order of LOL. LOTR goes well with LOTF (Lord of the Forest), which is what made you think of it.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 15, 2017 at 9:16 AM

  3. […] can find old pictures of people with outstretched arms encircling the base of Tāne Mahuta but that’s no longer possible. Out of concern that the roots were getting trampled, the […]

    • I don’t remember hearing about that on our first visit, but this time we saw several signs warning about the disease.

      As for the photograph, I’d much rather have had a blue sky (I don’t like aiming into grey-white skies), but on a trip I usually don’t have time to return to a place and have to settle for the weather I get.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 15, 2017 at 9:23 AM

      • Not sure what it is like up North but we have gorgeous clear blue sky today.


        March 15, 2017 at 8:07 PM

        • The quandary of the nature photographer: not being able to be everywhere at once. Even in my local area I can’t visit all the sites I’d like to on one or even several days. Inevitably I must have missed some great things.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 15, 2017 at 8:53 PM

        • By the way, those clear blue skies visited Austin yesterday and again today, so I went out photographing on both days—especially as the forecast calls for overcast skies for days to come.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 15, 2017 at 8:55 PM

  4. what a magnificent tree! wow; i think i might have stood there for an entire day,just gazing up and pondering its place in our world… it is, for sure, one of our elders!

  5. Wonderful image of a spectacular tree 😃


    March 18, 2017 at 1:14 PM

  6. […] our way to Tāne Mahuta on February 12th (which schoolchildren in the United States once knew as Lincoln’s Birthday), […]

  7. […] already seen a picture from February 12 showing Tāne Mahuta, the largest known extant kauri tree, Agathis australis. Three days later we visited the […]

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