A big tree


Our daughter lives in Northland, which has given us the opportunity to explore a part of New Zealand that we’ve not seen much of previously. Driving through the Waipoua forest on the way to the Hokianga, we stopped to view Tāne Mahuta. This is a giant kauri tree estimated to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old. Its name means ‘lord of the forest’. While we were gazing in wonder, another family arrived. An older child told her younger brother to look. He gave it a cursory glance, said “big tree” and then hurried over to a bench so that he could climb up and jump off it. I was very amused. To call this giant of the forest a big tree is such an understatement! To a small boy, the opportunity to jump off a bench was much more appealing than looking at a tree. I hope he has the chance to see Tāne Mahuta again when he is older and feel the sense of awe that I remember when I look at this photo of us dwarfed by its magnificence.

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