Kauri are predominately found in the northern half of the North Island. The most famous is the Tane Mahuta tree in Northland. Named after the Maori forest god, this tree has become something of a tourist attraction due to its size.
The kauri is the largest species of tree in New Zealand, rivalling the sequoia in height and girth. The size and strength of kauri timber made it a popular wood for construction and ship building.
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries kauri gum (semi-fossilised kauri resin) was a valuable commodity, and was the focus of a considerable industry at the time.