An excellent reason for visiting Matakohe is the superb Kauri Museum. The giant cross-sections of trees are astounding in themselves, but the entire industry is brought to light through life-sized reproductions of a pioneer sawmill, boarding house, gumdigger’s hut and Victorian home – along with photos, artefacts, and fabulous furniture and marquetry. The Gum Room holds a weird and wonderful collection of kauri gum, the amber substance that can be carved, sculpted and polished to a jewel-like quality.

The museum shop stocks mementoes crafted from kauri wood and gum.