Warkworth Museum and the adjoining small native forest
Parry Kauri forest reserve is a special nook we are not sure if we want to write about. The reserve is a quiet place with ancient Kauri and Totara trees within view of the car park. You could be very lazy, not get out of the car and simply look at the magnificent kauri (approximately 800 years old) from your vehicle.
As New Zealand kauri is under threat from a very nasty disease called kauri dieback (usually fatal) the kiwi icon has its own guardians instructing people how to avoid transmitting the disease to trees not yet affected. Parry Kauri reserve has a guardian, with a comfortable chair, sitting by the tree making sure visitors respect the trees.
Get out of the car …
And we are not advising visitors to turn up, park their cars and gawp at the trees. Get out and take a short relatively flat loop walk around the reserve. You will be surrounded by New Zealand forest magic, just a short detour from state highway one.
(walk is not suitable for strollers due to the number of steps)
Currently the reserve is off the beaten track destination. It is surprising as it is relatively close to Auckland and the tour buses could definitely fit into the car park.
Let’s hope mass tourism operators are not reading this post.
Warkworth is not located in Northland, rather it is part of the northern region of Auckland. Warkworth (Māori: Puhinui) is a town on the Northland Peninsula in the upper North Island of New Zealand.
Warkworth is 64 km from Auckland making the town a great day trip destination.
For a bonus there is the Warkworth museum right next to the reserve. It is run by volunteers, hence the request for donations to support the museum. It provides an excellent introduction to the area’s settlement and the historic importance of the river. In the 19th century the Mahurangi River was a bustling port transporting people and goods to Auckland and beyond. The river was a highway up until the twentieth century.
The town bridge is located above the historic weir that provided fresh water for the town’s original industry, including a timber mill, a jam factory and the Wilson Cement Works. In the 1930s, the weir witnessed elephants bathing in the pool (a circus was visiting).
The Parry Kauri Reserve is a two for one bargain for visitors with the Warkworth Museum nestled alongside the reserve a bonus.
Warkworth Museum highlights
- World War II US Army huts
- Quirky original settler buildings
- The maze of corridors filled with settler memorabilia from ancient typewriters to original shop tillers.
- The story of kauri felling and its impact on the forest
‘The two large kauri trees are named in honour of former landowners. The park and the driveway into it bear the names of Harry Parry and Tudor Collins, local identities who were largely responsible, along with the Kauri Bushmen’s Association, for raising the money to purchase the land and create the reserve. The Mid-North Branch of the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society is responsible for providing signs along the boardwalk that winds through the park.
Inside the Museum are displays of the kauri digging implements, photographs of gum-digging, giant pieces of kauri gum, saws, native timber, bushman’s hut and other items connected with the gum digging days. On the far side of the car park, there is a “whim”, which was used to haul the logs out of the bush, and other items connected with kauri logging.’
Source Warkworth Museum online resource
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