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Waipoua Forest: Twilight Encounter - Maori Cultural Eco Night Tour

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Hokianga, New Zealand
Waipoua Forest: Twilight Encounter - Maori Cultural Eco Night Tour

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


Experience a mystical journey through the sacred forests of New Zealand’s Maori people during this 4-hour evening forest walk in Waipoua with an indigenous guide. Walk beneath the giant Kauri trees of this forest sanctuary, including the majestic ‘Te Matua Ngahere’ tree, absorbing the site’s spiritual energy as you learn about the site’s significance to Maori beliefs.
  • Experience New Zealand's sacred Waipoua forest with an indigenous guide
  • Get steeped in the myths and origins of the Maori belief system
  • Commune with the giant Kauri trees of this ancient forest, some of which are several thousand years old
  • Marvel at the giant Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest) tree, which towers more than 150 feet (50 meters)
  • Great way to learn about the Maori belief system
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Local guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off within the Opononi/Omapere area
Local taxes
Use of a torch.
Access to insect repellant but we encourage you to bring your own eliminating potential reactions.
Food and drinks

Departure Point

State Highway 12 Omapere, Hokianga 0444, New Zealand

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Receive an afternoon pickup from a location in the Opononi and Omapere area, or meet up with the group at the Tane Mahuta Carpark or Te Matua Ngahere Carpark. As you transfer to this special natural sanctuary, you’ll get an introduction to the protocols followed by visitors from your Maori guide.

When you arrive at Waipoua, you’ll likely be able to see the starry sky up above. These very same stars helped guide the Maori people across the ocean to New Zealand from their traditional homeland of ‘Hawaiki.’ Your walk through this sacred forest will take you past ancient trees that first grew from the ground long before these very first Maori legends.

Pay a visit to some Waipoua’s oldest ‘great ancestors’ including Te Matua Ngahere (Father of the Forest), a tree believed to be between 2,500 and 3,000 years old and spanning more than 15 feet (5 meters) in diameter. You’ll also marvel at ‘The Four Sisters,’ a collection of trees that grew and thrived living in close proximity, and see the giant Tane Mahuta (Lord of the Forest), which towers more than 150 feet (50 meters) above the forest floor. After enjoying this mystical experience, you’ll return to your original starting point.
Stop At:  
Waipoua Forest
Setting out from Omapere by coach, the 20 minute journey is the perfect opportunity for your local Māori guide to connect you with your fellow passengers and brief you on the protocols for your visit to the largest remaining stand of kauri in New Zealand, the mighty Waipoua Forest. Before stepping into the domain of Tāne Mahuta (the god of the forest) your guide will conduct a brief karakia (prayer) ensuring that the evening is both enjoyable and safe. On the gentle paths that slowly wind their way through this ancient theatre you will come face to face with giant kauri trees that superseded both the arrival of Kupe, NZ’s first discoverer a thousand years earlier and the birth of Jesus Christ. Experience the affinity that Māori have with the forest and the deep spiritual respect they have for these sentinels who have stood silently witnessing the passing of time. Your guide will share thought-provoking information, humorous banter, stories and legends before respectfully greeting the oldest and largest known kauri trees in the world with spine-tingling chants and song. Witness the day transition to night and by default let your senses become hauntingly enhanced. You will learn how Māori used plants for medicinal purposes and the life-cycle of a giant. The seed to mature tree journey is a curious process of luck and tenacity. As the sun sets the nocturnal creatures begin to go about their work. Should the gods look favourably down upon us you may encounter insects like weta, our two nocturnal birds (the kiwi and the native owl) or the magnificent but slightly chilling giant carnivorous 'kauri' snail. Deep in the forest waits the stately Te Matua Ngāhere - 'The Father of the Forest', who at 3,000 years is the oldest giant; Your guide will greet this primordial presence like an old friend and before leaving you will enjoy a few moments of silence to reflect Your tour will conclude with a visit to a national icon and the largest giant, Tāne Mahuta. A short stroll later and in keeping with the evening’s theme your guide will formally acknowledge the Lord of the Forest. Suddenly you stand dwarfed before a 2000 year old silhouette; his ancient limbs seem to grasp at the blanket of stars. Sit or stand in admiration as your guide shares the Māori creation story. Final words and song are offered before the curtain is drawn on an experience of a lifetime and you are ushered back to your accommodation in the Hokianga. Just like these giant kauri trees the memories you seize are timeless treasures.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • A minimum of 4 people per tour is required to operate.
  • Free pick ups are conducted within the townships of Omapere and Opononi. Pickups start from 30 minutes before the tour departs. Enquire to see if pickups outside these areas are possible.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not recommended for children under 5 years of age.
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 25 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Footprints Waipoua

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during Waipoua Forest: Twilight Encounter - Maori Cultural Eco Night Tour?
This activity will have a maximum of 25 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Waipoua Forest: Twilight Encounter - Maori Cultural Eco Night Tour.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "Might be better if it were held during the daylight to better see the big kauri tree" See review


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Interesting insight into Maori culture and history
, Feb 2020
Interesting tour. Tour leader Charlie was very engaging and knowledgeable. Might be better if it were held during the daylight to better see the big kauri tree

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