The award winning Kauri Museum tells the story and heritage of pioneering settlers though the lens of Northland’s Kauri Tree Industry. The Kauri Museum specializes in the history of and the legacy left behind by our Kauri Forests; specifically the strong durable timber and the highly sought after Kauri Gum. The Kauri gum resin (New Zealand amber) was one of New Zealand’s primary exports in the 19th century and is highly prized today as a collector’s item or in the production of fine arts.
The increased demand for New Zealand’s native timbers resulted from the need to build sailing ships and burgeoning, international cities like Sydney and San Francisco. The timber was also popular closer to home with many of our heritage buildings and colonial furniture constructed from the flawless, straight-grained timber of the Kauri tree.
The Kauri Timber industry can trace its origins back to pre- European history, with tales of single trees carved by tangata whenua to construct mighty war canoes. Ngatokimatawhaorua, the 35 metre long war canoe (waka) is one of the largest ceremonial war canoes in the world with a hull carved from two massive kauri trees, felled in the Puketi Forest in Northland. It is launched each year from its home in Waitangi for the commemoration of the signing of the Treaty.