Guided Tours from Waipoua Lodge
There are four types of guided tour which can be organised from Waipoua Lodge:
Complimentary Hosted Tours
When you stay 3 nights nights at Waipoua Lodge, our complimentary gift to you is a 3 hour guided tour with your host Ian, or a 3 hour cooking class with Fran. A guided tour with Ian is totally flexible and can offer a variety of options including forest, beach, lakes etc. We also offer a drop off and pick up service. Guests are dropped off at a point with a map from which they can enjoy walking a defined route to a place where they are collected at an agreed time. The lodge can also provide a lovely picnic lunch to be enjoyed along the way.
Footprints Waipoua Twilight Tour
The spiritual environment of the Waipoua Forest provides a natural stage for an unforgettable Footprints Waipoua encounter with some of the largest remaining kauri trees in the world. Stepping into our special world you will be walking under the same stars that guided our ancestor Kupe from legendary Hawaiiki to New Zealand. On the paths of the forest we meet trees that were already giants before his arrival and that were standing before the birth of Christ.
You will experience the affinity that early Maori had with the forest and the deep spiritual respect they hold for the giants still growing there. Learn of the rich bird life and other fauna that inhabits the forest and witness the transitions of life and the day turning into the night. Your Maori guides will relate stories and legends of the forest, of its gods and other spiritual inhabitants. They will greet the giant trees with spine-tingling waiata (sacred chants). You will learn how Maori used plants for medicinal purposes.
As night falls, the shyest creatures of the forest awaken and begin to go about their work. You may encounter insects like weta, nocturnal birds, eels, freshwater lobsters, or the magnificent but slightly chilling giant carnivorous ‘kauri’ snail. Deep in the forest among the towering trees and surrounded by the sounds of the nocturnal creatures awakening, you will meet Te Matua Ngahere – The Father of the Forest. At approximately 3,000 years old he is the oldest known kauri tree in the world that has been living since the time of bronze age man! Your guide will greet this giant as an old friend.
The highlight of the tour will be your meeting with The Lord of the Forest – the giant and spiritual ‘God of the Forest’ Tane Mahuta thought to be approximately 2000 years old!
Your guide will formally greet the silent giant and then suddenly you stand dwarfed before his Lordship as the darkness closes in. His gnarled ancient limbs seem to grasp at the stars and the forest is silent but for the dim chatter of its night creatures.
Maori Private Guided Tours
Instead of taking the Footprints Waipoua Twilight Tour, these private tours offer an alternative day time Maori experience with guests being collected from the lodge after breakfast and returning around lunchtime. The tour can be flexible but usually they encompass meeting the mighty kauri trees of the Waipoua Forest – Tane Mahuta, Te Matua Ngahere and The Four Sisters.
Trounson Kauri Park Kiwi Encounter
The protected and predator free Trounson Kauri Park is home to approximately 200 North Island Brown Kiwi and this tour takes guests into the forest at night in the hopes of hearing and seeing the kiwi in its natural habitat, plus experiencing the magic of the other nightlife present in this unspoilt environment.