Visiting the upper North Island

Kauri trees, which only grow in New Zealand, are threatened with extinction by a disease, commonly know as 'kauri dieback'. It is spread between trees by people carrying tiny amounts of infected soil on their footwear and other gear. The following guide has been developed to help you protect kauri when visiting a forest in the upper North Island, from Waikato to Northland.

Four sisters kauri trees in Waipoua Forest
Four sisters located in the Waipoua Forest

How to guidelines

  • Clean all soil off your footwear and other gear (including hiking poles, clothing and bags), every time you enter or leave a forest area. This is to avoid introducing kauri dieback disease to a new area, or moving it from an area where the disease is. A pinhead of soil is enough to spread the disease. Do not use water (including stream water) to clean, unless it will be captured in a sewer, for instance – the pathogen that causes dieback is a water mould, and is activated by water.
  • Use disinfectant only after you have removed all the soil. Spray it on all the areas that have come into contact with the ground.
  • Don’t go off-track for any reason (including to hug a kauri!). A kauri’s roots are extremely delicate, grow close to the surface, are susceptible to disease, and can grow outwards 3x as far as a tree’s branches).
  • If you use hiking poles, use rubber feet on your poles to minimise the amount of soil your poles pick up.
  • Never assume anywhere is free of kauri dieback. Infected trees may not show it.
  • Spread the word within your networks about the need for visitors to help stop the spread of kauri dieback. Everyone has a part to play in saving kauri.

National plan to protect kauri

From 2 August 2022 ten new rules/regulations have been introduced as part of a national plan to help protect kauri from the Phytophthora Agathidicida (PA) pathogen that causes ‘dieback’ disease.

More information on the Plan and how it may affect your visit.


This resource will be updated in the coming months, with new resources to be developed. Last updated: March 2017.

The information in this guide is intended to be general information. It is not intended to take the place of, or to represent, the written law of New Zealand or other official guidelines or requirements. While every effort has been made to ensure the information in this document is accurate, the Ministry for Primary Industries (and any of their employees or agents involved in the drafting of this guide) do not accept any responsibility or liability for any error of fact, omission, interpretation or opinion which may be present, nor for the consequences of any decisions or actions based on this information.

The Ministry/The Kauri Protection Programme itself and on behalf of all the persons mentioned above, clarifies that it has no control over and is not responsible for the contents of any pages referenced or accessed from this guide other than pages provided by the Ministry/The Kauri Protection Programme. Any hyperlinks to other Web sites imply neither responsibility for, nor approval of, the information contained in those other Web sites on the part of the Ministry/The Kauri Protection Programme.