8 of the oldest forests in the world

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2. Waipoua Forest: New Zealand

Like many a forest that lived more-or-less unmolested for ages by the people who lived in harmony with the land, Waipoua Forest began its adventures in exploitation with the arrival of European settlers in the 19th century. Young kauri trees – the mainstay of this North Island wilderness, were toppled in the thousands to make ship masts and spars. In 1952, Waipoua and the nearby forests of Mataraua and Waima, were declared sanctuaries and now the forests can continue doing what they've been doing for millennia.

But fortunately, many of the ancient kauri trees survived the tools of mankind! The area is rich with rare New Zealand flora and fauna, and especially the kauri, a coniferous tree with incredible longevity. The oldest of the bunch, pictured above, is called Tāne Mahuta for "Lord of the Forest." This noble grandaddy is over 150 feet tall and is estimated to be 2,300 years old.

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