“I think it’s really cool and it’s definitely worth seeing. It reminds me of Tāne Mahuta.”
In Northland, Tāne Mahuta is Aotearoa’s largest known living kauri tree, thought to be between 1,250 and 2,500 years old.
Kiri has made up for her tramping reluctance in childhood, having completed most of the tracks and tramps in and around the Wellington region.
She’s also covered tramps further afield, including Lake Waikaremoana, and this summer she aims to complete the Heaphy Track and celebrate a night in her 100th hut.
“I just love being outside. My favourite part of tramping is staying in the hut. I love being off the grid for the night and being surrounded by the bush.”
When it come to Otari-Wilton’s Bush and the ancient rimu, Kiri visits often.
“I definitely try and get here every couple of weeks. I usually walk from home listening to music, and then take my headphones off when I get here and just chill. It’s so peaceful!
“When you get to the rimu there’s a viewing platform, and you just see people sitting there in silence – in awe of this tree.”
All tracks at Otari-Wilton’s Bush are signposted. Forest trails can be slippery when wet so sturdy footwear is recommended.
Born and raised in Nelson, Kiri says she’s embracing Wellington life.
“It’s such a cool city. It’s so compact you can walk around and there’s so many reserves. We’re so lucky to have the green belt and so much to explore in our own backyard.”