We walked a hillside right behind our campground that's been through it all--from native forest to plantation forestry and now cattle grazing.
You can see the hills behind our camp spot. The path led us relentlessly up, to the small Tutukaka Conservation Area where the trees had been left alone.
It was a solid hour trek, first through beech forest, then pine, and finally a more diverse and native selection as a result of the meager reserve the kauri sits in--laughable, really, as our species hurries along the collapse of the natural world, our habitat.
"One tree doesn't make a forest but Tane Moana proclaims our loss and determines us to preserve.
Humbled by its might, sprung from a tiny winged seed, we reflect..."
Sobered by its countenance
Awed by its reach
Devastated to learn from our camp host that it's sick with kauri dieback disease. It will take some years, but it's going down.
John Dory fillets and stir-fry for first meal blunt the news. On the way to Tutukaka we stopped at a little grocery/take-away place (which deep fries its fish) and I asked if I could buy some fillets. They were nice enough to comply.