• The Maori Forest Spiritual Experience that is Footprints Waipoua

Guided Tours from Waipoua Lodge

There are four types of guided tour which can be organised from Waipoua Lodge:

Take a guided forest tour and hug an ancient kauri treeComplimentary 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.

Leave a legacy to future generations

Aswell as guided tours, Waipoua Lodge also offers guests the opportunity to adopt a kauri tree through the Waipoua Forest Trust or support their Kiwi Sanctuary Project.

  • Waipoua Lodge Guided Tours

    Only available on a complimentary basis with a 3 night stay. Tours take place between 10.30 am and 2.30 pm and to ensure availability must be confirmed at the time of booking accommodation

  • Footprints Waipoua Twilight Tour

    $95.00 per person. Tours start at 6.30 pm (1st Oct to 31st March) and 5.30 pm (1st April to 30th Sept) at Tane Mahuta. Guests leave the lodge 30 minutes before meeting time. Full details of where to meet and how to get there will be provided when you arrive at the lodge.

  • Trounson Park Kiwi Walk

    $25.00 per person (minimum of four required or $50.00 per person). As kiwi are nocturnal, tours start at varying times (7.30 pm onwards) depending upon the time of year. The tour starts approximately 25 minutes from the lodge. Full details of where to go will be provided when you arrive at the lodge.

  • Private Maori Guided Tours

    The cost of a Footprints Waipoua private maori guided tour varies according to time. If you would like to do a daytime tour, please let us know and we can provide some costing details.

  • Waipoua Forest Trust

    Adopting a kauri tree and enjoying an educational talk and walk with the Waipoua Forest Trust environmentalist costs from $125.00.