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“He mea tino whakahirahira - A truly awesome experience”
Review of Footprints Waipoua

Footprints Waipoua
Book In Advance
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$69.17*
and up
Waipoua Forest Evening Walk with Local Guide
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Walking here in my ancient ancestral lands was an experience. I first saw Tane Mahuta in 1955 and while time has passed since that date, the profound impact lives on. These are timeless markers with our culture and tribal history and heritage. Sharing this experience with others from my family and around the world was also magical. And, with a guide linked to me by common ancestry and descent; with such a profound sense of identity, the whole was an integrated affirmation of self and connection; inter-connectedness. While I knew the detailed history of the entire place and also the many plants and trees, having been brought up with a sense that the forest was both our pharmacy and supermarket to be shared and accessed with love and absolute respect, it was still remarkable to hear the korero (stories), the karakia (incantations) and to become as one with with my ancestors in my own language. And then of course, as the light began to fall, with Tui tinkling in the canopy and Ruru and Kiwi stating their claim within the boundaries of the night, to stand once again in the presence of the giants of Waipoua, Te Matua Ngahere and then, Tane Mahuta, was te rekindle the strongest sense of timeless being and location, of ancestry and heritage, of deepest spirituality. As Wiremu articulated and affirmed what for me was a time of reconnection and ancestral embrace, the sense of being as one with ancient nature was quite overwhelming; but also, an amazing recharge of the batteries.

For those wanting a unique experience, this cannot be bettered.

2  Thank Dr Benjamin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"twilight encounter"
in 33 reviews
"billy boy"
in 28 reviews
"maori culture"
in 29 reviews
"kauri trees"
in 58 reviews
"spiritual experience"
in 14 reviews
"new zealand"
in 38 reviews
"twilight walk"
in 9 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 7 reviews
"small group"
in 7 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 5 reviews
"wonderful guide"
in 3 reviews
"special experience"
in 3 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 6 reviews
"lonely planet"
in 3 reviews
"copthorne hotel"
in 5 reviews
"highly recommend this tour"
in 4 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 5 reviews
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192 - 196 of 311 reviews

Reviewed October 15, 2013

After taking the tour, I now look at forests very differently. I now stare at the twigs and leaves wondering if they are infact twigs and leaves and not live creatures just blending in very well! Their seemed to be alot of different creatures, everywhere! If I had done this tour myself, I would have never been able to spot half the creatures which were pointed out to me by the very informative guide. A must do tour if you are in the area, particularly worth doing at night!

Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2013

This tour is about so much more than seeing the kauri trees at night. It was breathtaking. The night of our tour our guide was Selwyn and there were two other couples, both from the Auckland area. I think had our group been different we might have felt differently about the tour, but everyone was so engaged and interested in the stories and chants. I learned so much about Maori culture and was really moved by their connection to the land. The pace of the tour was perfect, we took our time and didn't feel rushed at all. The trees are pretty spectacular, and at one point in front of Tane Mahuta there was a morepork calling in time with Selwyn's chants. When he asked for a moment of silence the bird also stopped. It was amazing! It was a perfectly clear night when we were there so the stars were pretty spectacular as well. It is over dinner time, so eat early or take snacks. You can order dinner at the restaurant at the hotel before leaving so that you have a warm meal ready when you return, which was nice. In retrospect, I wish we had stayed at the Copthorne (we drove all the way back to Paihia!) and gone back to the forest during the day to see the trees in the daylight. This was one of my favorite experiences on the trip though and I would absolutely do it again.

2  Thank aknoble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2013

It was a very good experience for us. The fresh air, almost magical forrest, the magnificent Kauri, the stories, the songs and most delightful of all - Selwyn, our guide.

Tips:
I'd bring along a bar of chocolate or something cos the tour spans across dinner from 5-9pm. We heard our tummies growl in the quiet forrest *ha!*

Beware of the very twisty roads if you're driving there to catch the tour.

1  Thank Coenchin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 1, 2013

I am a kiwi. I went with a tourist and did the $95 tour. We ended up having very different views. The European tourist, who was sceptical beforehand, loved it more than he could have imagined. He thought it was spiritual and engaging. I was so so about it. It was good, but I would give it 6/10 - perhaps that is because I knew a lot of the stories before going. That said, we went back during the day to look at the trees, and I have to agree, the night experience was much better than during the day and even better than looking for oursevles.. as we got a lot more info

1  Thank pjd001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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