Setting out from Hokianga by coach, your Maori guide will brief you on the protocols for your visit to the mighty Waipoua Forest.
Stepping into our special world you will be walking under the same stars that guided our ancestor Kupe from legendary Hawaiiki to New Zealand. On the paths of the forest we meet trees that were already giants before his arrival and that were standing before the birth of Christ.
You will experience the affinity that early Maori had with the forest and the deep spiritual respect they hold for the Giants still growing there. Learn of the rich bird life and other fauna that inhabits the forest and witness the transitions of life and the day turning into the night.
Your Maori guides will relate stories and legends of the forest, of its gods, and other spiritual inhabitants. They will greet the giant trees with spine-tingling waiata (sacred chants). You will learn how Maori used plants for medicinal purposes.
As night falls, the shyest creatures of the forest awaken and begin to go about their work. You may encounter insects like weta, nocturnal birds, eels, fresh-water lobsters or the magnificent but slightly chilling giant carnivorous ‘kauri’ snail. Deep in the forest among the towering trees and surrounded by the sounds of the nocturnal creatures awakening, you will meet TeMatua Ngahere – ‘TheFather of the Forest’. At between 2,500 and 3,000 years old he is the oldest known kauri tree in the world. Your guide will greet this giant as an old friend.
The highlight of the tour will be your meeting with ‘The Lord of the Forest’ – the giant Tane Mahuta!
Your guide will formally greet the silent giant and then suddenly you stand dwarfed before his Lordship as the darkness closes in. His gnarled ancient limbs seem to grasp at the stars and the forest is silent but for the dim chatter of its night creatures.
At the conclusion of this unique encounter, you will be returned to your accommodation in the Hokianga.
Duration: 4 hours
Departs from the Copthorne Hotel and Resort Hokianga
Footprints WaipouaJoin us at Footprints Waipoua for an intimate encounter to learn how these trees are intertwined with the lives of local Maori and the important role they play in the eco-system of the Waipoua Forest.
Local Maori guides share the stories their ancestors taught them as children. Capturing the legends of the Atua (forest gods), the waiata (songs), the rongoa (medicine) and their magic.
Footprints Waipoua acknowledge TE ROROA the iwi and kaitiaki of this great taonga (treasure). We continue to work with Te Roroa as we address the challenges the Waipoua forest faces now and in the future.