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World Famous Ancient Kauri Log Staircase - enjoyed by 100,000 visitors yearly

Giant Kauri Staircase

A giant Ancient Kauri staircase is the centre piece for the Ancient Kauri Kingdom showroom and retail outlet at our shop and factory at Awanui in far north New Zealand. Carved from a 50 tonne section of one giant swamp kauri log estimated to weigh 140 tonnes it is the largest swamp kauri log ever known to have been extracted, and because of this it was never milled.

Radiocarbon dating confirmed that this tree had been perfectly preserved in the swamp for 45,000 - 50,000 years. Growth rings tell us it had lived 1087 years before it fell more than 45,000 years ago.

It is thought to be the only internal log staircase in the world - if not, definitely the oldest.

Extracting the log was an engineering feat

Exctracting the giant log was an engineering feat...

Dave Stewart and his crew from Ancient kauri Kingdom extracted this log in October 1994. The tree lay at a 30 degree angle in the swamp with all the stump and roots having decayed away over time.

The crew firstly tried extracting the tree in one piece, but after snapping 2 winch ropes with a breaking strain of 90 tonnes each, and pulling apart 2 x 2.5 inch shackles, cut a 110 tonne section off, pulling that out first, and the remaining 30 tonne piece afterwards.

Carving the staircase took time and kiwi ingenuity

It took over 500 hours to chainsaw out the staircase...

Dave conceived the idea to create an internal staircase within this log as a centrepiece for a new shop. In September 1998 a 50 tonne section was cut from the monster log and transported back to the site of the new shop.

A half metre thick reinforced concrete pad was poured, the log stood upright and construction of the new shop commenced over and around it.

The staircase itself took Dave 300 hours to chainsaw out and two other men another 200 hours to finish it.

Purchase our DVD to see the story

Purchase our DVD for NZ$30 to capture highlights of 'The Story of the Ancient Kauri Kingdom and Staircase'

Staircase Dimensions:

  • Girth: 11.3 m
  • Diameter: 3.6 m
  • Height: 5.1 m
  • Growth: 1,087 years (growth rings counted)