Jim & Linda's 2011 New Zealand Adventures travel blog

Kauri Tree Throne

1929 Catapillar 60

Lister Diesel - Still used in third world countries

Wade Drag Saw - Mfg in Portland, OR until 1964, $290

One piece Kauri table top

Giant Kauri Slab

Mak'n Lumber The Hard Way!

Climbing for gum with toe spikes and hooks in his hands -...

Climbing Hooks

Climbing Boots with Toe Spikes

Matakohe Church Info

Matakohe Church Interior

If you get to this part of New Zealand be sure to plan on spending a minimum of two or three hours here, maybe even more. It details the history of the Kauri tree and the gumdigger's that worked here. The gumdigger's would prob the swamps in search of "gum" the resin that formed in the trees before they were buried in the swamps. This gum was sold to make shellac and many other products. Some pieces were sold as museum pieces and they had a large collection of these in the museum. Other gum collectors climbed these giant tree to collect the gum. Our way of climbing fir trees would not work, the climber would not be able to flip a rope around a tree that was 40' around! Look closely at one of the photos.

The climbers had spikes in the toe of their boots and a spiked hook that they held in their hands to climb the tree, No safety rope!

The museum includes some of the original machinery that was used to saw the trees into lumber. There is a large collection of steam and antique gasoline engines and a huge collection of old chain saws. They and even had a replica of the original hotel that you could walk through with displays in every room. All in all an excellent museum, one of the very best I have ever visited.

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