A friend sent me an email today from Australia showing diverse and beautiful wooden staircases from all over the world. Two of the photos were views of a stunning giant ancient kauri staircase which is the centrepiece for the Ancient Kauri Kingdom showroom and retail outlet at their shop and factory at Awanui in New Zealand’s Far North (30 minutes from our home here in Coopers Beach.) It is carved from a 50-tonne section of one giant swamp kauri log estimated to weigh 140 tonnes. This is the largest swamp kauri log ever known to have been extracted, and because of this it was never milled.

Looking Down the Same Staircase


Ancient Kauri logs that have been buried in peat swamps in the north of New Zealand for more than 45,000 years. The logs are buried just beneath the surface of the ground, deposited by an unexplained act of nature. My guess, and that of others I’ve discussed this with, is that the trees were victims of a massive tidal wave. Why  such speculation? Because most of the trees seem to have fallen in the same direction. In the end, it doesn’t really matter why. The fact is that the trees are there, lying in swampy fields around the Far North. Only the lower trunk section and ball root structure are ordinarily found. Any part of the tree above ground has long since rotted away. Excavation of the logs is time-consuming, expensive and technically difficult, requiring skilled operators of heavy machinery.

A Kauri Giant Alive Today

The surface may be dry but the water-table of the swamp is high, meaning that logs just below the surface are permanently lying in water.

The trees grew to ages of up to 2000 years before they were buried. Some have a girth of around 40 feet, and a total height of nearly 200 feet. The excavated timber is the oldest workable wood found on earth.



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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

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