Nīkau is the Māori word for palm tree, and the word specifically refers to the palm fronds on the tree.
The nīkau grows up to 15 metres high and produces flowers ranging from lilac to pink between November and April. It is the only palm species endemic to mainland New Zealand. And it is often found in lowland coastal areas such as Piha on Auckland’s West Coast.
There is a sense of primordial beginnings when you walk through a nīkau grove such as this. It truly is stunning.
New Zealand Māori named these birds Tākapu and they were once highly prized for their plumage.
Tākapu are large birds whose powerful wings enable them to soar and glide gracefully around their colonies and over the coastal waters of Muriwai Beach. They are spectacular divers and can plunge into the ocean at high speed to catch fish. The birds lay just one egg, in October or November, in ground nests high on the cliffs of Otakamiro Point. By the fourth month after hatching the young birds leave for their westward migration to eastern Australia and will return to breed after their fourth year.