"I wanna hang a map of the world at my house. Then I wanna stick pins in the locations that I`ve traveled to.
...But first I have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won`t fall down."
-Mitch Hedberg

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tane Mahuta - Lord of the Forest

Tane Mahuta pushpin
Tane Mahuta means “Lord of the Forest” in Maori.

It’s such a great name for this kauri tree that dominates the area around it. Its age is estimated at 1500 years old, though some botanists think it could be over 2000 years old, meaning it was a seedling when Jesus walked the earth. WHAT? It’s wild to think that this one tree predates so much human history – even the Maori settlement of New Zealand by hundreds of years. It’s hard to see something alive that is so ancient, and to think of how long it’s stood there – growing quietly in the pre-human forest. I get a big kick out of dinosaur bones, but somehow their age never resonated the way this single tree did.
It’s kind of like when someone asks what I’d do with a million dollars. All these crazy things pop into my head, but when they ask what I’d do with ten thousand dollars I picture investment portfolios and how many tanks of gas that is. The smaller, more tangible number makes me think in concrete terms. That connection to the everyday makes the ten thousand feel like a lot more money. Tane Mahuta’s connection to the living, present day forest makes its 2,000 years that much more impressive.

If you crane your neck to look up at the branches near the top, you see a bunch of other bushes, and even other small trees growing on top of the branches. It’s so massive it’s starting another forest on top of the canopy. It’s like “forest-back-forest.” (Hi Don and Maggie).

It’s a shame that the pictures don’t do it justice – it’s impossible to capture the size and scope of it. The perspective gets lost because the trunk is set back from the path and it’s so tall.

Care and I recommend Tane Mahuta to anyone traveling in Northland. It was a short walk to the tree, but one that will stay in our memories for a long time.

by Shawn Forno
The drive down the 12 highway, a branch of the Twin Discovery Highway in Northland, New Zealand, leads through Waipoua Forest. This ancient kauri forest is an obstacle to some motorists with its steep roads and winding corners, but to most it's home to New Zealand’s...read more

Not impressed? Maybe this can put things into perspective...


  1. i found your time line to be both education and entertaining.

  2. Forest-back-forest is cool. But can you imagine Super Ms. Pacman-back-Super Ms. Pacman? That would blow my mind!

  3. Mr. Lady - Glad you liked the timeline. I've been trying to spread the truth about space ninjas and Stonehenge for years.

    Don - Sorry man, Ms. Pacman is one of a kind. She'd never consent to Ms. Pacman back Ms. Pacman.
    She's a lady.