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New Zealand

Kauri Trees (pictured above) are one of the biggest trees in the world reaching up to 50 metres tall and with a width reaching up to 16 metres. They are strictly protected in NZ, even if they are on a private property. The Waipou forest in Northland was one of the first to be protected, and is where the largest concentration of these trees can be found. There you are able to see trees that are believed to be over 1500 year old. The biggest Kauri found in this forest is 51.5 m tall and 13.5 m wide. Many other trees around this region reach close to this size, but before 1952, the year where this area became a sanctuary, trees were cut down and sent to Britain to be made into boats and ships.

The Potuakawa Tree flower from the beginning of November. You will find these trees with its beautiful red flowers from the forests of Northland all the way up to Bay of Plenty on the North Island. Because this trees flowers around the same time as Christmas they are sometimes referred as the New Zealand Christmas tree. They grow more to the side than up, reaching 20 metres high and 35 metres wide. Its flowers produce a sweet nectar, which were used by the Maoris to make medicine. The Maoris also used the trunk of the metrosideros excelsa (Scientific name) to make oars and other wood crafts. The Potuakawa tree lives up to 1000 years and grow well in rocky soil, and resist high concentration of sodium. For this reason they are often found on the coastline.

Ferns are found in most forests in New Zealand, with the biggest concentration being found close to lake Rotorua and Tarawera. The majority belong to the Cyathea group, with the most famous being the Cyathea Dealbata also known as the silver fern or Ponga. The leaves reflect a silver tinge thus the name. The silver fern is one of the official symbols used by the All Black, the national rugby team, apart from being an inspirational symbol to the Maori, who use the symbol on wood carvings and sculptures and even tattoos, especially the Koru (Dicksonias specie) which is another fern that is also readily found. Both species of ferns are dated to the Dinosaur age.



New Zeeland also has a very diverse range of flowers which can be clearly seen during the spring time. Botanical gardens in the major cities are best described as a show, with native and imported plants being on display. We are not able to list all the flowers and plants, but we have tried to list the most important ones. If you want to find out more about this topic This Link will take you to a web site specializing on this subject.

New Zealand Christmas Tree - Potuhukawa

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