Photo By Peter Watts
Kauri Museum Gum Room

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Panorama showing some of the displays in the Gum room of the Kauri Museum. The cabinets contain a vast collection of pieces of kauri gum of all colours and sizes. Some is very old and some are beautifully carved.


Kauri Museum Gum Room - Kaipara Harbour visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Kauri Museum Gum Room' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Northland.

The Kauri Museum contains the largest collection of kauri gum in the world. Kauri gum is hardened tree sap oozed from the kauri trees to seal up wounds and breakages. Over time the sap hardens into blobs and then falls to the ground as the tree grows.

Like amber, kauri sap often trapped small insects and other animals, preserving them. Fossilized kauri gum has been found dating back 45 million years. More recent gum, dating back 10,000 to 30,000 years, is known as kauri copal or resinite. The Maori used freshly hardened resin to light fires, as it burns very easily, or as a pigment.

When the Europeans arrived, they found kauri gum very plentiful, and would harvest it from the ground. Beautiful and unusual pieces quickly became collectors items and prospecting for kauri gum grew up alongside the kauri timber industry. Once the surface gum had been exhausted, the prospectors would prod the ground with staffs and then dig up the gum when it was found. Kauri gum was often found alongside logs buried in bogs and marshland, some of which was 50,000 years old. Sometimes the gum was polished, shaped and carved before selling. The gum comes in various colours from clear honey-yellow to dark brown / black.

Other Kauri Museum panoramas: Volunteers Hall | Smith Wing | Kauri saw mill


The Kauri Museum
5 Church Rd
Matakohe 0593
Northland, New Zealand


Take Highway 12 west from Brynderwyn (Highway 1) for 30km. The Kauri Museum is about 140km north of Auckland.

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