Every time we find ourselves north of Auckland, we make a point of visiting the Waipoua Forest – a truly awe-inspiring place famous for its living giants, including Tane Mahuta (God of the Forest), the biggest kauri tree in New Zealand. It’s 51 metres tall, about 14 metres around and somewhere between 1250 and 2500 years old. Unfortunately, the girls are more interested in the chocolates we have bribed them with to make the short walk into the forest … but Doog and I are totally charmed. This forest is often overlooked when time-pressed tourists are making up their itinerary and maybe that’s part of the attraction. In my experience, the fewer the people, the better the experience.