Footprints Waipoua is a memorable journey where you’ll learn how NZ native Kauri trees are intertwined with the lives of local Maori and the important role they play in the eco-system of the Waipoua Forest.
‘Step into our World’ and let our local guides show you nature’s stages of evolution, whilst providing a mythological and interactive interpretation of life in the forest.
Meet the oldest known kauri tree in the world, Te Matua Ngahere (The Father of the Forest) who is a stately 3000 years old and has an incredibly impressive girth that measures 16m (50ft). The Four Sisters defy all the odds and are a graceful collection of mature kauri trees who have grown together in sibling harmony and finally Tane Mahuta (The Lord of the Forest), a national icon who stands 51m tall (160ft) and is the largest known kauri tree in the world. Join Footprints Waipoua for an unforgettable, intimate experience of a lifetime.
Twilight Encounter (duration 4 hours) – Our most popular tour. 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. Imagine that the sky is a blanket of stars; the moon a giant candle in the heavens; the crowds have dispersed and standing before you are giant silhouettes who have stood silently witnessing the passing of time.
Meet Tane Day: (duration 40 mins) – An opportunity created for those groups where time is of the essence. No longer does this opportunity need to be just a photo stop. Be met by a local Maori Footprints Waipoua guide at the entrance to the Tane track and be immersed in engaging and insightful knowledge, song and stories. Leave with a stronger sense of connection and understanding. Minimum numbers apply.
Meet Tane at Night: (duration 1.5hrs) – This is a condensed version of the signature Twilight Encounter tour for those who have young families or those whose arrival time does not coincide with the Twilight departure time. Experience the affinity that Māori have with the forest and the deep spiritual respect they have for the iconic sentinel Tane Mahuta. Connect with thought-provoking information, humorous banter and legends before respectfully greeting the largest known kauri tree in the world with a spine-tingling chant. Suddenly you stand dwarfed before the 2000 year old giant. Enjoy his company, the environment and the atmosphere less the crowds. Just like Tane the memories grasped are timeless treasures.
Daylight Encounter: (duration 3.5hours) – Join a friendly local Māori guide for your unforgettable encounter to a special world; a world of giants that have stood silently witnessing the centuries. Your tour will start with a karakia (prayer) seeking permission from Tāne Mahuta (the Māori God of the Forest) to enter his domain and to ensure that a safe and enjoyable experience is endured. Very quickly it will become obvious that Māori have a very special spiritual connection with the environment. The easy walking tracks softly wind through an evergreen maze of unique flora. You will enjoy intermittent stops to connect with thought provoking information, stories and legends. “We are only said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures”.