New Zealand Locations
Waipoua Forest is located on the tip of North Island. The forest is home to Tane Mahuta, New Zealand's largest known living kauri tree. Waipoua forest was bought from the Maori in 1876 for around 2000 pounds. It was declared a sanctuary in 1952, the sanctuary covers around 80 km2 and it contains 3/4 of New Zealand's kauri trees. In 2007 the forest was threatened by a wildfire that started by someone cooking mussels over on open fire. The fire came within 3km of Tane Mahuta and destroyed oven 2km2 of vegetation. It killed and estimated 20 North island brown kiwis.
The Waipoua forest is home to the largest population of North island brown kiwi. The north island brown kiwi is the most common of all the kiwis. The north island kokako is also found in the Waipoua forest. The north island kokako has blue wattles, while the south island kokako has orange wattles. The north island kokako is endangered, and the south island kokako was formally declared extinct on 16 January 2007.
We will be staying in Hamilton from January 10 to the 27th at the University of Waikato. Hamilton is on North Island and it is New Zealand's largest inland city. The Maori from the Tainui waka inhabited Hamilton for 700-800 years until 1863 when the land was confiscated by the crown.
While in Hamilton, there are plenty of things to do. Kayaks and canoes can be rented,or you can go rock climbing, zorbing and hiking. We will be visiting white island (January 16) and Waitomo glowworm caves (Jan 18). Hamilton also has Waikato Museum and Putaruru Timber Museum. The Waitakaruru Sculpture Park and Arboretum has 60 to 90 sculptures along a 2km trail. SOUL Gallery has a variety of jewelry, wall art, and ceramics. The Robinson Sports Museum is a good place to go if you are interested in sports history and old sporting equipment. If you want to hike, Taitua Arboretum has an excellent collection of mature trees. Other hiking spots include Waikato River Trail Lake Ngaroto Marokopa Falls, the Te Waihou Walkway and the Bridal Veil Falls. Ruakuri Scenic Reserve has beautiful limestone outcrops (it is about one hour from Hamilton).
http://www.waikato.ac.nz/home.shtml (University of Waikato website)
http://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/tracks-and-walks/waikato/maniapoto/ruakuri-walk/ (Ruakuri Scenic Reserve site)