Raised boardwalks and guided tours for visitors to Waipoua Forest

By Mare Haimona-Riki

The Northland iwi of Te Roroa is promising a new experience for visitors to the iconic Waipoua Forest, by sealing the road to the visitors centre and raising the boardwalks used by visitors to navigate their way through the ngāhere.

“We have this disease called phytophthora agathidicida, or kauri dieback, which has been impacting our big kauri trees,” says Te Roroa general manager Snow Tane. “And we’ve had quite a number of them die off inside the forest.”

Tane says that guided tours and raised boardwalks will prevent visitors from going off the tracks and walking straight up to Tāne Mahuta, which he says is a common occurrence and a potential cause of kauri dieback. However, it has not yet been decided whether or not the guided tours will be compulsory for everyone, or tourists only. A fee for these tours has not yet been decided. 

“At the moment, the preference is that it will be for everybody, but we are working on the details because we have the local whānau, then our regional whānau within the rohe, and then we have people throughout Aotearoa. It is a difficult one to work through.”

Tane says the alignment for the tracks has been decided and they are working towards the construction process.