In the early 80’s I made a trip to New Zealand as a tourist. One Saturday morning in a small village in the North Island, a farmer’s market was all a-bustle with fresh foods and crafts. A retired ‘Kiwi’ farmer who loved to carve objects from scraps of wood, sold me a spoon he’d made of a legendary endemic New Zealand wood, called Kauri.
Kauri only grows in one place in the world, the North Island of New Zealand and is among the most massive in height and girth, nearly as large and as tall as the Redwoods of Northern California.
Kauri trees can live for thousands of years and has an incredible resistance to rot and decay. The grain has a deep, shimmering iridescence, therefore highly prized for furniture making and is among the world’s finest and most durable woods for traditional boat building.
Try to grasp this fact: ancient Kauri logs have been recovered from swamps and peat marshes after 50,000 years, having been buried by an ancient cataclysm, and are completely intact and usable as lumber.
Today Kauri trees are protected by the government and a few ancient stands of these magnificent beings are still left to be admired. If you ever make it to New Zealand, make a side trip to see one of the glories of nature.