Extractive industry. Similar to other parts of Northland, digging and mining of Kauri Gum used to bring money into the area. Until the Gum ran out. Gumdiggers Park is an attraction based around an original 100 year old digging site for kauri gum. The area is also known as Kaikino Swamp. Gumdiggers Park is part of the once much larger Aupouri Gumfields; the largest Gumfields in the country.
The last kauri gum was extracted in the 1950’s.
Gumdiggers Park top sights:
- Recreated shacks and raupo (flax) huts
- Original kauri gum equipment for extraction and processing
- Gum store for supplies
- Massive swamp kauri logs over 100,000 years old
- Walking through the gumfields
- Northland green gecko breeding programme
30 minute wooden boardwalk looping through 2 hectare site. Information plaques describe the workings of the gum field.
Eco trail through regenerating native manuka bush with green gecko enclosure a highlight. Gumdiggers Park obtained permission in 2005 to house and breed Northland Green Gecko. A Gecko enclosure now sits along the Eco Trail.
A gecko can detach its tail if caught by a predator, although the green tree dwelling geckos are more reluctant to do this than other geckos because they use their tail for climbing.
A major industry
By the 1860s, exporting kauri gum was an established industry. From 1870 to 1920, digging gum was a major source of income for Māori and settlers in Northland. In the 1890s some 20,000 people were involved in the gum industry – 7,000 of them working full time.
Dalmatians were one of New Zealand’s few non-British immigrant groups in the 19th century.
The money tree
On a track leading towards the North Cape [Reinga] stands a lonely pōhutukawa tree. It is known as the gum diggers’ money tree. Around 1900, workers from the nearby gumfields would leave coins in the bark for good luck as they travelled to the Pārengarenga gum store. The tree is also significant to local Māori tribes.
SOURCE Page 2. The gum diggers
- OPEN MONDAY TO FRIDAY 9 AM TO 5 PM
- Dogs on a leash are welcome in the park
171 Heath Road, R D 1, Awanui, Northland.
Gumdiggers Park is part of the scenic highway far north excursion. Far North, New Zealand highlights include Parengarenga Harbour, Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga. Consider visiting Parengarenga Harbour for the ultimate beach getaway complete with outstanding views of Kokota silica gleaming white sands and prolific bird life. Enjoy the scenic highway from Ahipara or Kaitaia as you wander the side roads of the far north of Aotearoa New Zealand.
WHAT TO DO NEARBY GUMDIGGERS PARK, NORTHLAND?
Find out more about what to do and see in Northland.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE