Giants & Glow Worms

Experience the natural beauty of the unique Hokianga region and hear its legends from local guides

  • Tour Description >>

  • Useful Info >>

Journey into a unique part of New Zealand, first discovered by Kupe the voyager. Visit the Waipoua Forest and meet a national icon, the mighty kauri tree Tāne Mahuta. Spend time in seaside towns and inside glowworm caves on a full-day tour from Paihia.

8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. 08:00 Hrs
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  • Meet the giant kauri tree Tane Mahuta in the Waipoua Forest
  • Visit the remote Hokianga region
  • Follow the original stagecoach trail
  • See the Kawiti Glowworm Caves

Tour Description

Experience an unforgettable journey into a unique part of New Zealand – the Hokianga. Visit this special region, discovered over 1,000 years ago by the Māori voyager Kupe, hear its legends, and venture into the Waipoua forest to meet the mighty kauri tree Tāne Mahuta.

Travel to the Hokianga and meet your local Māori guide, then venture into the ancient Waipoua Kauri Forest for an unforgettable encounter. Learn about life in the forest and hear Māori waiata (songs), myths and legends as your guide takes you on an intimate journey through nature and explains how the lives of local Māori are intertwined with the forest.

The Waipoua forest is home to some of the most significant kauri trees still standing. Te Matua Ngahere (The Father of the Forest) is estimated to be between 2,500 and 3,000 years old, with a girth of 16 metres, while The Four Sisters are a graceful collection of kauri that have grown close together in sibling harmony.

Finally, meet a national icon, the truly impressive Tane Mahuta (the Lord of the Forest). The largest known kauri tree in the world and aged up to 2,500 years old, his mighty girth is over 13 metres and he stands an impressive 51 metres (167 feet) high. Stand beneath this ancient giant and hear the legend of how he separated earth and sky at the beginning of the world.

After your forest encounter, spend some time in the Hokianga town of Opononi before turning back towards Paihia along the old stagecoach route. This trail was first marked out by early Māori and then frequented by traders and merchants who transported supplies, kauri, gum and timber between the coasts.

On your way back, stop at the Kawiti Glowworm Caves and discover one of Northland's best-kept secrets. These family-run caves will delight you with twinkling glowworms, amazing limestone rock formations including stalactites and stalagmites, all surrounded in lush green native forest.

'Hokianga is one of my favourite places. It’s special and different – a little bit of magic.' - Jo, Sales executive

Useful Info

BRING: Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, walking shoes, camera and warm clothing. HEAR: A full commentary is provided by your driver and guides. The Māori language is spoken at key points throughout the journey, with English interpretation provided. EAT: Refreshment stops are made for morning and afternoon tea (own expense). Enjoy a pub lunch at Opononi Hotel (own expense). AVAILABILITY: This tour departs Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.