Manginangina Kauri Walk, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

kauri-trees-in-the-puketi-omahuta-forest-which-is-one-of-the-best-remaining-examples-of-the-subtropical-rainforests-which-once-clothed-northern-new-zealand-manginangina-scenic-reserve-bay-of-island

Kauri trees in the Puketi- Omahuta Forest which is one of the best remaining examples of the subtropical rainforests which once clothed Northern New Zealand, Manginangina Scenic Reserve, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

 

From our anchoring spot in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand, we went ashore at Paihia Wharf and then boarded a van for a 45-minute drive inland to the Manginangina Scenic Reserve operated by the New Zealand Departmnent of Conservation (Te Papa Atawhai).  This ancient kauri forest is located in the heart of New Zealand’s Northland and with Omahuta Forest, forms one of the largest adjoining tracts of native forest in Northland.  The 37,000 acre / 15,000 hectare forest is home to several rare native birds; kauri, podocarp and hardwood trees; and more than 370 recorded species of plants.  Puketi played a central role in the lives of Māori and early European settlers thanks to its sustaining plants and animals.  We had a fantastic naturalist lead our small group on a walk along a raised boardwalk in the kauri forest (much of the ground was wetlands; the boardwalk also protects the tree roots from the pounding they’d get if all visitors walked on terra firma).

 

the-tress-grow-quite-large-and-are-the-4th-largest-trees-on-the-planet-after-the-giant-sequoias-of-ca-usa-the-redwood-trees-of-ca-usa-and-a-species-found-in-mexico-manginangina-scenic-reserve

The tress grow quite large and are the 4th largest trees on the planet (after the Giant Sequoias of CA, USA, the Redwood Trees of CA, USA, and a species found in Mexico), Manginangina Scenic Reserve, Bay of Islands, New Zealand; here the bark showed some really interesting patterns

 

the-upper-canopy-of-part-of-the-puketi-omahuta-forest-manginangina-scenic-reserve-bay-of-islands-new-zealand

The upper canopy of part of the Puketi- Omahuta Forest, Manginangina Scenic Reserve, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

 

The Puketi- Omahuta Forest is one of the best remaining examples of the subtropical rainforests which once clothed Northern New Zealand.  Lying in the heart of Taitokerau (Northland) the forest has provided spiritual and physical sustenance to Māori for the past 1,000 years.  The forest survived early European logging and farm development because of its steep terrain and poor soils.  Around the beginning of the 20th century, huge tracts of kauri forest were destroyed.  Only 3% of the original forest now remains.  Today the forest is a haven for native plants and wildlife, including kiwi, rare native bats, and kauri snails.

 

many-of-the-really-large-trees-were-lost-in-the-19th-century-this-was-one-of-the-larger-kauris-that-we-saw-on-our-walk-through-the-forest-manginangina-scenic-reserve-bay-of-islands-new-ze

Many of the really large trees were lost in the 19th century – this was one of the larger Kauris that we saw on our walk through the forest, Manginangina Scenic Reserve, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

 

this-fallen-kauri-tree-was-deliberately-wounded-in-times-past-by-gum-bleeders-see-text-below-manginangina-scenic-reserve-bay-of-islands-new-zealand

This fallen kauri tree was deliberately wounded in times past by gum bleeders [see text, below], Manginangina Scenic Reserve, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The fallen kauri tree in the photograph above was deliberately wounded in times past by gum bleeders.  When damaged, kauri produce a gum to act as a bandage as the tree tries to heal itself.  However, these wounds can also be a point of infection and this tree succumbed to heart rot and blew down in a storm.  Kauri gum was once highly valued for the manufacture of varnishes and linoleum.  The gum was primarily dug from fossilized deposits in many Northland swamps, but as this became harder to find, bleeding of live trees began.  Gum bleeders climbed kauri trees with spiked hammers and boots making cuts at intervals up the trunk, later returning to collect the solidifies gum.  This practice was eventually outlawed in 1905, but for many trees the damage was already done.

 

lichen-growing-on-the-trunk-of-a-kauri-tree-making-a-nice-geometric-pattern-with-the-bark-manginangina-scenic-reserve-bay-of-islands-new-zealand

Lichen growing on the trunk of a Kauri tree – making a nice geometric pattern with the bark, Manginangina Scenic Reserve, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

 

the-bottom-of-a-silver-fern-maori-ponga-new-zealands-national-emblem-found-in-the-puketi-omahuta-forest-manginangina-scenic-reserve-bay-of-islands-new-zealand

The bottom of a Silver Fern (Māori: ponga) – New Zealand’s national emblem — found in the Puketi- Omahuta Forest, Manginangina Scenic Reserve, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

 

a-beautiful-baby-fern-unfurling-maori-koru-represents-peace-tranquility-personal-growth-positive-change-and-awakening-it-is-associated-with-new-life-and-harmony-and-is-widely-used-in-new

A beautiful baby fern unfurling (Māori: Koru) represents peace, tranquility, personal growth, positive change and awakening; it is associated with new life and harmony and is widely used in New Zealand; Manginangina Scenic Reserve, Bay of Islands, New Zealand – a wonderful photograph to end our blog posts on this trip to New Zealand

 

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