Moko Tree - Atlas Obscura

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Moko Tree

This 800-year-old Rimu tree may be the oldest in the world.  

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An ancient Rimu tree estimated to be at least 800 years old peeks through the canopy at Otari-Wilton’s Bush. These remarkable, slow-growing trees can only be found in New Zealand. Park officials erected a platform around the ancient Rimu tree, nicknamed ‘Moko,’ to protect its fragile roots system. 

The botanical garden and forest preserve is a reminder of what the New Zealand’s landscape was like before the arrival of European settlers. Upon arrival, European settlers quickly cleared the land for development and farming. John Wilton, a farmer, fenced off a portion of land to preserve the native forest. This area, now known as Otari-Wilton’s Bush, became New Zealand’s only botanical garden dedicated to endemic plants. The park is also home to 1,200 native plant species and endemic animals species including kākāriki, koura, river eels, and glowworms.

 

Know Before You Go

To locate 'Moko,' enter Otari-Wilton's Bush on Wilton Road. Head to the Information Centre and then down to the Troup Picnic Area and cross the bridge. Walk up hill on the Blue Trail and follow the signs.

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