New Zealand Kauri (Agathis australis) has significant cultural significance, to Maori and more recent settlers alike. These towering giants represent an important connection for Maori spiritual beliefs. Their prized timber and gum (the resin produced by the tree that over time becomes a young amber), formed the industries that shaped modern New Zealand. The Kauri Museum recounts the history and the legacy left behind by our ancient Kauri Forests (second in size only to the American redwood tree). In addition to preserving our past, the Museum has a role to play in conserving their future, collaborating to “Save our Forests” by raising public awareness to control the spread of the Kauri Dieback disease and promote forest ecology.

The Kauri Museum offers something for all ages. It is also a centre of excellence for kauri research with an extensive collections archive. Dr Jonathan Palmer, a Dendrochronologist and associate of the museum, reconstructs past climates using ancient kauri tree rings. Explore this and the many other displays and galleries inside the Museum, from the magnificent collection of antique kauri furniture to the life sized replica boarding house. Be amazed by the collection of kauri gum which has been attracting settlers to Northland since the late 1800’s.

Educator led sessions coming soon

The Kauri Museum offers educational sessions or inquiry based research that covers the two fields of social and natural sciences. Through hands on experiences, dramatic recreations, questioning and critical thinking, lessons can be built around the following themes:

Secrets revealed: tree rings and climatic events

A reference library of wood is being constructed worldwide to look at periods of extreme climate change. With a rapid cooling of the earth over 5 to 10 years, huge glaciers formed in England and Europe. The limited growth of trees that were on earth at that time confirmed there was a mini ice age during this period.

  • There is now a worldwide research program using a reference library based on kauri
  • The Kauri averages 35 mm growth a year but that varies due to climate
  • Measuring the tree rings and growth patterns can determine past climate change far beyond meteorological records
  • Present growth patterns include changes in girth over a day due to photosynthesis and transpiration

Early European pioneer settlement on the Kaipara

  • The challenges that the Albertlanders faced when carving out an existence in a new land
  • Meet the locals: A day in the life of a pioneer settler
  • A lesson with Miss Strict in the pioneer school
  • A significant textile collection that charts fashion trends over a hundred years

The history of European trade in the Kaipara and greater Northland

  • Early transport networks in the Kaipara and the advent of the boarding house
  • The Kauri Timber trade
  • Gumdigging, Northland’s version of the Otago goldrush
  • Kauri Industry and the impact on non-renewable resources

The impact of early technological revolutions

  • Kauri Industry: equipment that was used for felling trees, transporting logs, milling timber and processing kauri gum.
  • From Bullock to Bulldozer: The introduction of the Cat-60 tractor
  • The era of internal combustion power: An introduction to the operational machinery that became indispensable on any rural farm

World War I & II through the eyes of a soldier

  • When was World War One, who was involved in the war and where fighting occurred?
  • What life of a solider was like? What did they wear? What did they eat? How did they communicate with people at home?
  • The North Auckland Mounted Rifles
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