Agathis Australis



Kauri is coniferous that can grow to around 50-60 metres in height with a trunk diameter of 4-5 metres. The tree has a straight trunk and smooth bark with a distinctive branching pattern. It is an evergreen tree with glossy needle-like leaves arranged spirally on the branch.


Kauri is native to northern New Zealand, mainly Northland, Auckland and Waikato. It thrives in well-drained soils and is commonly found in mixed and regenerating forests. 

Cultural Importance

Kauri is a significant Māori symbol of strength, resilience and spirituality. It is a cultural treasure, and the wood is traditionally used for building canoes, carvings and other artistic purposes. 

Ecological Role

Kauri provides a habitat for various essential species in the New Zealand forests. As it is so large, it contributes to the structural complexity and stability of native ecosystems. Kauri forests are also efficient carbon sinks that store massive amounts of carbon in their trunks, helping mitigate climate change and offset carbon emissions. 

Associated Birds

Kākā: These parrots might visit Kauri trees to forage for fruits and seeds.

Fantail (Pīwakawaka): Often found flitting around Kauri trees, Fantails catch insects stirred up by the birds' movements.

Tomtit: These small birds might search Kauri tree bark for insects and spiders.

Morepork (Ruru): Nocturnal birds like Morepork might use Kauri trees as roosting spots during the day.

Whitehead: These small birds might explore Kauri branches in search of insects and fruits.

Bellbird (Korimako): Their melodious calls might resonate through Kauri forests, as they feed on nectar.

New Zealand Falcon: These raptors might use tall Kauri trees as lookout points for hunting.

Kererū (New Zealand Pigeon): Known as important seed dispersers, Kererū could eat and spread Kauri seeds.

Kiwi: Although primarily ground-dwelling, Kiwis play significant roles in Kauri forest ecosystems.

Conservation Status

Unfortunately, Kauri is currently categorised as a threatened species due to the spreading of the pathogen Phytophthora Agathidicida. Conservation interventions are in place, such as track closure, hygiene efforts, and research to manage and understand the disease. 

Interesting Facts

  • Kauri trees are known for their longevity, with some trees over 2,000 years old. This makes them one of the oldest tree species in the world.
  • The tree gum from Kaurinis can be used for jewellery and varnish as it forms a fossilised resin.  
  • Timber from Kauri is valuable as it is of high quality and durability

Conservation Tips

The key to conserving Kauri is to manage and stop the spread of the dieback disease. We must support and adhere to the conservation efforts and respect the signage from local organisations.