New Zealand Geographic, November/December 2016



For tens of thousands of years they lay under the earth, from the Waikato to Cape Reinga: gigantic trees toppled in their prime, embalmed in the peat bogs of the north, silent and still.

Now, though, they are rising to the surface. Brown-black trenches score the farmland of Northland, and diggers reach into their resting places, pulling the logs from their holes like a molar from a mouth. Some of these trees last stretched for the sun before humans built cities or domesticated animals or developed writing – yet as they emerge, still-green leaves remain stuck to their bark, as fresh as anything you’d find on the forest floor.