Two giants stand in Warkworth, near the Warkworth Museum—two giant kauri trees, that is. The larger one, the McKinney Kauri, measures almost 25 feet around its base, yet this 800-year-old colossus is a mere adolescent by kauri standards. Look a few yards to the west and you'll see the Simpson Kauri. Kauri trees were highly prized by Māori canoe builders because a canoe capable of carrying 100 warriors could be made from a single trunk. These same characteristics—strength,
size, and durability—made kauri timber ideal for ships, furniture, and housing, and the kauri forests were rapidly depleted by early European settlers. Today the trees are protected by law; infant kauri are appearing in the forests of the North Island, although their growth rate is painfully slow.