The Whirinaki Forest park is New Zealand's twentieth forest park and is administered by the Department of Conservation. It extends over 54,000 hectares, stretching from the steep back country beech forest down to the unique lowland podocarp forest on the river terraces.

It is in these lowland areas that we see pristine examples of virgin rainforest that has its origins in the Mesozoic age, a geological era which extended from 225 million years ago to around 65 million years ago ( an era that contained the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods). During this time Dinosaurs appeared and ruled the Earth, and gymnosperms and angiosperms were the dominant plant types.Towards the end of the period the mammals emerged. The Whirinaki has more species with this ancient ancestry that reach adulthood, than comparable forests elsewhere and is therefore one of the most primeval forests in the world. Whirinaki's tree species have a continuous lineage stretching back without modification to the ancient

continent of Gondwanaland -Truly a Pre-historic Forest.

The Whirinaki boasts exceptional examples of the five main podocarps: Matai, Rimu, Totara, Miro and Kahikatea which form dense canopies that rise up 65 metres, from carpets of moss and tiny ferns that spread thickly at the trees feet. Frequently seen dotted on the forest floor are brightly coloured fungi and lichens .

Rushing rivers, diverse habitats, bird life that includes the native kaka, pigeon, tui, bellbird, waxeye, longtailed cuckoo, blue duck, parakeet as well as pigs, deer, kiwi, bats and a fascinating past combine to make this treasure a truly unique experience. Unlike many of the northern hemisphere native forests which are single species stands, the Whirinaki podocarp canopy provides an excellent environment for broadleaf and hardwood plants such as tawa and kamihi, which form a colourful and fragrant under-canopy.

The Giant trees of the Whirinaki deserve their global ranking and are of international significance and are therefore protected. The forests isolation has been its saviour, with the splendour of ancient trees now preserved for everyone to enjoy .

Come out and experience it for yourself! We will help you get there!

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