New Zealand: Giant Kauri Trees at Waipoua National Park
Waipoua National Park preserves the largest stand of the giant kauri trees on the world. Kauri are like New Zealand’s version of giant sequoias – humongous coniferous trees (over 150ft high and 15ft in diameter) that live for thousands of years. Evolutionary, kauri are much older then the surrounding flora, dating back to the Jurrasic period (when brontosauruses probably munched on its bark). Kauri rise above the surrounding trees, forming a massive crown at the top and dropping the lower branches to prevent any vines and strangler figs from attaching. The world’s largest kauri – Tane Mahuta – over 2500 years old – made me look like a tiny ant standing at its bottom.