Buller Gorge Swingbridge
Native Podocarp Trees of the Buller Gorge Swingbridge Adventure and Heritage Park

KAHIKATEA - WHITE PINE - Dacrycarpus dacryioides

Kahikatea is New Zealand's tallest tree species, reaching 60 metres in height. It takes at least 200 years for a Kahikatea to reach "giant" status, and its typical site is valley floor floodplains.

Kahikatea was a popular timber tree in the1800s and early 1900s. The tree provided timber for butter, cheese and apple boxes because it had no resin to taint the precious commodities; it is now reduced to about 2% of its pre-Europeean forest cover.


MATAI - BLACK PINE - Prumnopitys taxifolia

Matai rarely grow over 25 metres in height. Although similar to Miro, Matai is best distinguished by close observation of its leaves, or by its mature bark which is grey-brown and flakes off in rounded chunksrevealing reddish blotches.

Matai has small blue/black edible fruits, if your eye can detect them! Matai is prized for flooring.


MIRO - BROWN PINE - Prumnopitys ferruginea

Like Matai the bark is "hammered" but reveals brownish blotches when it sheds, not reddish blotches. Just to add to the confusion of detail, Miro has reddish/purple fruit.

Maori have utilised all parts of the tree for medicinal purposes. Harvesting called for considerable climbing skills as the best crops came from mature trees.