On the way to visit the Kauri Forest and the Kauri Museum we passed through some beautiful country:
The Kauri tree is a plant that I didn’t know much about until I came to New Zealand. Today was mostly spent viewing the Kauri tree, its environment and its history in New Zealand and its effects on the early economy.
This is a Kauri tree along the highway in the Northlands of New Zealand. Its botanical name is Agathis australis. It was one of the main trees used for lumber in the early history of New Zealand much like the Redwood was used in California.
It is a beautiful hardwood and was used for ship masts, house construction and heavy beams because of its strength and density:
Amber is the sap or resin of a tree which has oozed out of the tree and become solid. The original occupants of New Zealand, the Māori, discovered many uses for the Kauri amber such as torches, fire starters, chewing gum with plant juices and building. More modern uses of amber are varnish, paint, marine glue, candles, jewelry, furniture, construction.
The tree was overlogged and now is endangered because a fungus is attacking it. The photos below show some Kauri trees in decline because of this fungus.
We visited the largest tree in New Zealand which happens to be a Kauri. All the visitors to this tree must treat their shoes with a disinfectant before going in to see it.
This is the largest tree in New Zealand and the largest Kauri (Agathis australis) in the world. It’s estimated age is 2000 years. The little tree in front is a baby Kauri.
The Kauri lives with ferns, tree ferns, podocarpus, and vines in a low moist environment.
At the Kauri Museum we visited a nearby cemetery and heritage rose garden:
Rosa ‘Hansa’ (Rugosa 1903)
Rosa ‘Blanc Dbl De Coubert
Rosa ‘Comtesse Du Cayla’
Rosa ‘Duchesse De Brabant’
Rosa ‘Cecil Brunner’
Tomorrow: Auckland Gardens