New Zealand’s largest living kauri tree—Tāne Mahuta, Lord of the Forest—is this week’s photo of the week.
With such a majestic name, Tāne Mahuta is an apt choice for Māori Language Week, with its focus on ‘Ngā ingoa Māori, Māori names’.
Tāne Mahuta stands in Waipoua Forest in Northland and is thought to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old.
According to Maori mythology Tāne was the son of Ranginui the sky father and Papatūānuku the earth mother. Tāne was the child that separated his parents’ embrace, bringing light to the earth, and clothing his mother in the forest we have today. All living creatures of the forest are regarded as Tāne’s children.
The tree is a remnant of the ancient subtropical rainforest that once grew on the North Auckland Peninsula.
The forests of Waipoua are the garden of Tane Mahuta. Waipoua, and the adjoining forests of Mataraua and Waima, make up the largest remaining tract of native forest in Northland. Good walking tracks give easy access to the most spectacular attractions of the forest: the giant trees Tane Mahuta, Te Matua Ngahere and Yakas. Tramping tracks and routes are also available for those who wish to venture deeper into the forest, especially in the high plateau and ranges.
This week’s photo of the week was shared by Sirocco Kakapo, after the recent death of Fuchsia the kākāpō on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou:
Skraaarrk! We are now 124. Fuchsia kākāpō was as lovely as the native flower she was named after and I am so very sorry that she is no longer with us.
The dazzling purple, green and pink colours of our native fuchsia, known as kotukutuku, have been captured beautifully in this photo. Taken at Catchpool, near Wellington, by Biodiversity Ranger Brent Tandy, it is a special reminder of the life and passing of a lovely old kākāpō.
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Skraaarrrk! You’ve probably already noticed that as the Spokesbird for Conversation I’ve been running a photo contest to celebrate people and parks for Conservation Week 2012.
Well, after a frenzied voting period on my Facebook page to get our top ten photos, my pal (and internationally recognised nature photographer extraordinaire) Rob Suisted has chosen the winner. Boom-roll please…
Congratulations Jill Hoffman from Invercargill!
Early morning in the Iris Burn Valley, Kepler Track, Te Anau
“To me this photo captures a great interaction with one of our National Parks and wild places – a beautiful location, well framed, lots of interest, great lighting and mood. Well done”
“The Kepler Track is a a great track for you and your family, especially if you love the outdoors, want an adventure with a bit of a physical challenge that is not too hard to get to and has excellent facilities. The scenery is just spectacular as evidenced by this beautiful photo. Good work Jill.”
So, a big boom to you Jill! You are the winner of the amazing Fiordland adventure.
Rob also chose two other photos that he thought deserved honourable mentions.
Greta File, Napier
A beautiful early morning view from the long drop. A cold winter morning in the Kaweka forest is greeted by the early morning sun melting the frost atop of the Makino Hut.
“I think this image has the strongest pure photographic qualities of the selection – It has strong composition, is bravely shot into the light, slightly mystical, and it doesn’t fully reveal its subject, there by allowing the viewer to ponder it.”
“Kaweka Forest is a backcountry park that offers everything from rafting, canoeing, and fishing to hot springs, hunting and tramping. An array of huts are on offer – like Makino Hut which has been gloriously captured by Greta in this shot”
Christel van Krieken, Gisborne
Harakeke in flower, Punakaiki; the gateway to Paparoa National Park
“I liked the textures and colours with this. If the photographer had have lifted the camera a little the mid ground would have revealed itself more and given a stronger sense of depth, something that’s important when shooting in high sunlight in the middle of the day when less shadow reduces form to an image.”
“Limestone cliffs and canyons, caves and underground streams, and an absolutely spectacular coastline, are all packed into Paparoa National Park. Paparoa’s luxuriant coastal forest is on display in this image from Christel.”
The other photos that made it into the top ten of the photo contest
So, that’s the end of my competition, but that doesn’t mean we should stop enjoying New Zealand’s great parks. So keep taking those photos and share them with me.
Rob Suisted with a South Georgia elephant seal pup resting on his legs
A big thanks to Rob for lending us his time and expert eye to help us find our winner. Rob has a passion for the parks and the wild places of New Zealand and was therefore a great choice to judge our contest.
Rob is an internationally respected wilderness and nature photographer. He has published many books and calendars, and his photos have featured on countless magazine covers.
Rob also runs a very successful image library of over 50,000 of his own NZ natural images. You can learn more about his work and view some of his beautiful photos on his site www.naturespic.com.