Monday, 19 March 2007

Walking with Ents

This Kauri tree is called Te Matua Ngahere, and is believed to be 2000 years old. Doesn’t he look just like Treebeard the Ent? It is hard to explain the sense of awe and respect that I felt on seeing these giant, venerable trees. The forest is called Waipoua Forest and is a sub-tropical rainforest on the west coast of the Northlands of New Zealand’s North Island.

As a Lord of the Rings fan, I think that walking through this forest felt just how I imagine that walking in Fangorn Forest felt to the hobbits. I have tried in these photos to show how dense the forest is, with one clear path winding through it, which was put in place very carefully so as not to harm the trees. Waipoua forest is a conservation area which is full of Kauri trees and where you can see the two oldest and largest Kauris still alive today.

This one is called Tane Mahuta, and is thought to be about 1500 years old.

These four Kauri trees are growing all together and are called the Four Sisters, you can see how small and insignificant I am beside them! You can read more about the forest here.

After seeing the forest, we drove on back to Auckland and stopped at the Kauri museum. Here we saw how the Kauris were processed into timber during the period when they were being felled; we saw many lovely items of furniture which had been made of Kauri wood in the past, and we also found out that there were until recently (the 1970s) two even older and larger Kauri trees in the forest. Kauri trees become hollow in the centre as they become older, and eventually the wood which is left of the trunk cannot support the canopy any more and the tree collapses. At the museum we also saw many carved and polished pieces of Kauri gum, which is a resin very similar to amber.

We reached Auckland on Friday evening and on Saturday morning Catbert and DSoK arrived safely from London, and here they are that afternoon on the Devonport to Auckland ferry. They are holding up well considering that they have only had five hours sleep!
And finally, a little knitting content. Here is my new sock bag, which I mentioned previously,

and my two socks on two circs - not, alas making very much progress!

I also visited a yarn shop in Devonport called Wild and Woolly Yarns and purchased these two skeins of Touch Yarns Kid Merino. Mr Knitbert kindly bought me and Catbert each one of these lovely hand carved wooden shawl pins.

Both Touch Yarns and an NZ company called Natural had a wide range of beautiful yarns available, which I would have loved to buy more of, but I just don't have the space to transport them home.

Today we are leaving Auckland and setting off to Rotorua, but we have spent a great few days here, and were lucky enough to go sailing in the beautiful Auckland Harbour, so my next post will show some of the lovely City of Sails which we have seen.


Cindy G said...

Ahh the trees are lovely. Glad you included the picture with yourself for scale. It made me miss the Sequoias in California.

Blossom said...

Oh WOW....Thanks for such fantastic posts's really making me feel like I am there! What a fabulous holida you are having...looking forward to seeing some pictures of your lovely suits!

clarabelle said...

Great photos, Knitbert! Keep 'em coming! Lovely the yarn you bought, and also the shawl pins - Maori symbols? My uncle sent me a necklace with something similar... Also amazing trees - yes, very LotR!

Anni said...

When I read Devonport I though of Devonport in Plymouth whihc is a rather run down part of the city but your Devonport looks way nicer. Some great pics and love the sock bag.

Fiona said...

Two socks on circs! I'm so impressed. I want to go to New Zealand more than ever after reading your holiday blogs. A couple of those trees are very "Treebeard-ish".