The Waipoua Forest Trust is located on the southern border of Waipoua Sanctuary of the west coast of Northland about 30 mins drive north of Dargaville on State Highway 12. The restored 1,000 plus hectares of Trust owned and managed forest in the Millennium, Elvi McGregor and McGregor blocks can be seen to the right of the road beyond the Trust centre. Waipoua Forest was purchased from Te Iwi o Roroa in 1876, at which time kauri forest covered 21,000 hectares from the coast of the Tasman Sea, less than one quarter of the 82,000 hectares that made up the original kauri forest landscape of this district. The area under indigenous kauri forest is now a mere 9,000 hectares of that purchased thanks to decades of commercial milling by various New Zealand Government departments.
However, what remains is the largest area of kauri forest on Earth, a rare ancient ecosystem the reaches to the highest points in Northland, and fringes a spectacular coastline that include the longest beaches in the country. It is one of the great natural treasures of the world, and offers visitors an audience with ancient great trees of amazing scale. 2000-year-old Tane Mahuta, the largest, has a trunk 13.77 metres in diameter and is 51.5 metres tall, while close by te Matua Ngahere has a massive trunk at 16.41 metres and is a comparatively short 29.9 metres tall. Four of the ten largest (and oldest) trees are in the Waipoua Forest.