Post-conference field trip #1 - Kauri and the Quaternary of Northland

Details about the post-conference field trip that made a loop around Northland

AQUA 2016 post conference field trip #1 - Kauri and the Quaternary of Northland

Day 1: Auckland to Waitangi, Bay of Islands

We made four stops at two locations on the day: Omaha and Ruakaka.

Activities included:

  • examination of an ancient kauri site at Omaha with buried wood under the Rotoehu tephra
  • stratigraphy of last interglacial dune sequences and swamp kauri at Ruakaka
  • beach profiling and Holocene coastal processes at Ruakaka
  • a ground-penetrating radar demonstration at Ruakaka

Day 2: Loop into the heart of Northland

We made four stops at four locations on the day: Waitangi, Waimate North, Omapere, and Otakairangi.

Activities included: 

  • a visit to the Waitangi Treaty grounds site 
  • the Waimate North mission, site of the oldest land-based meteorological record in NZ
  • Lake Omapere, and discussion of a discontinuous late Quaternary record over the last 80,000 years
  • Otakairangi swamp with an overview about the last interglacial-glacial cycle in Northland
  • a drive-by and discussion of the Towai late glacial bog kauri site

Day 3: Foray into the Karikari Peninsula

We visited four locations spread across the Karikari Peninsula on the day: Lake Ohia, Tokerau Beach, Puhiki Hill, and Maitai Bay.

Activities included: 

  • A relic kauri gum field and ancient kauri site 
  • Last Interglacial-glacial-Holocene geomorphology (foredunes, channels, parabolic dunes)
  • Holocene dunes and archaeology
  • lunch at Karikari Estate, with a scenic vista across the peninsula
  • an afternoon walk along Maitai Bay, a pair of white sand beaches separated by a rocky headland

Day 4: Loop into the Far North and through Waipoua Forest

Our journey for the day saw us depart the Bay of Islands and ended on the west coast of Northland at Kai Iwi Lakes.

We stopped at four locations on the day: Mangonui, Awanui, the Aupouri Peninsula, and Waipoua Forest.

Activities included: 

  • Discusion about Mangonui as a frontier town and a drive-by view of an ancient kauri milling yard 
  • a visit to The Ancient Kauri Kingdom, which has artisan goods and a spiral staricase carved inside a massive ancient kauri log
  • a walk around Johnston's Gumdiggers Park, a manuka-scrub bush walk with exposed Quaternary stratigraphy and ancient kauri
  • a Ferry crossing of the Hokianga Harbour
  • a walk into Waipoua Forest, with spectacular living kauri trees including the largest reported kauri Tane Mahuta

Day 5: Kai Iwi Lakes and West Coast palaeodune sequences

We visited two main locations during the day: the Kai Iwi Lakes and Finlaysons Farm.

Activities included: 

  • An overview of palaeoclimate work by UOA, VUW and Massey University colleagues who are coring the Kai Iwi lakes 
  • A transect across Finlaysons Farm, which included

-An overview of a former swamp kauri excavation site (and milled timber) containing MIS3 and Holocene wood -Relic ancient kauri material and wigglematch radiocarbon dating using kauri -a GPR demonstration and stratigraphy of a relic parabolic dune -ancient forest material and lignite deposits

  • A dusk-nighttime excursion into Trounson Kauri Park to spot the elusive kiwi bird

Day 6: Swamp kauri milling operation and The Kauri Museum

We visited three main locations on the day in Kaihu, Dargaville and Matakohe.

Activities included: 

  • a tour of Nelson's Kaihu Kauri, with an overview of swamp kauri processing 
  • an overview of an inland basin site where a GPR investigation of buried wood is ongoing
  • The Kauri Museum at Matakohe, which contains fantastic colonial-era relics and all things kauri
Maitai Bay, Karikari Peninsula. [Pierre Roudier on Flickr]
Tane Mahuta. [Christina Wagner on Flickr]
The Kauri Museum, Matakohe. [Alan Levine on Flickr]
Swamp Kauri at Johnston's Gumdiggers Park, Awanui. [Andrew Lorrey, NIWA]
View from Karikari Estate. [tjrehmann on Flickr]
Staircase carved into Kauri log at Ancient Kauri Kingdom, Awanui [Pablo Garbarino on Flickr]
Buried Kauri in Manukau Harbour [Andrew Lorrey, NIWA]
Mangonui Fish Shop [Winam on Flickr]
Kai Iwi Lakes [Krzysztof Belczyński on Flickr]
Trounson Kauri Forest [Andrew Lorrey, NIWA]