The ancestors of our ancient kauri tree first appeared on this landscape more than 200 million years ago. This hands-on, small group tour allows you to interact with our collection and uncover the past including handling ancient lignites and swamp kauri that are tens of thousands of years old ... More info ›
The ancestors of our ancient kauri tree first appeared on this landscape more than 200 million years ago. This hands-on, small group tour allows you to interact with our collection and uncover the past including handling ancient lignites and swamp kauri that are tens of thousands of years old. Learn about the impact of man and introduced species to New Zealand and what you can do to help “Keep Kauri Standing” for future generations to come. The 45 minute guided tour is the perfect introduction to your museum experience (allow a further 1.5 hours to explore the lifelike displays and uncover some of Northland's best kept secrets).
We recommend that our visitors arrive 10 minutes before the start of their tour which departs from the main information desk in the foyer of the museum at 11:30am daily. Meet your knowledgeable and friendly guide and pick up some handy tips from the locals on the best places to visit in Northland.
The walking tour begins by exploring the Tudor Collins Wing. This is a photographic archive and allow our guide to introduce you to New Zealand's iconic kauri tree. New Zealand kauri is just one of 20 species of agathis found in the western Pacific, New Guinea, Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia and its ancestors have been on this planet for close to 200 million years. View the library of native New Zealand wood panels and compare with their South Pacific counterparts.
The next stop is the first of our handling stations in the Smith Wing. Learn about the four stages of coal formation, paying particular notice to the lignite stage. Look for the evidence of fossilized leaves and bark in the lignite collection obtained from local Baylys beach and gain an understanding of how our Northland Western Coastline has changed overtime.
The third stop continues to take us back in time, using ancient swamp kauri (tens of thousands of years old) and the science of dendroclimatolgy (study of ancient tree rings) to learn about the impact of past climatic events.
The forth and fifth stations are focused on the kauri's role in our living forests, followed by the more recent impacts of human civilization, including the reduction of our mature forests to 2% of what once covered Northland. These mighty trees supported two major export industries from Northland, both of which helped shape the development of this country-but at what cost?
The final station focuses on the current and future threats facing our remaining protected stands of forest. Learn how you can help to keep kauri standing for future generations to come.