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“Not a must”

Ancient Kauri Kingdom
Ranked #11 of 46 Shopping in Northland Region
Attraction details
Reviewed 10 June 2014

If you just so happen to be driving past and need to stop for a toilet break or a driving break, this may be a decent place to stop. They have a small cafe that serves the usual coffee and snacks. The exhibits and things for sale are pretty expensive so just treat is as a time to rest your eyes. The staircase carved from the kauri tree is nothing short of amazing. It's actually a functioning staircase which you can use to go to the second floor. Nice pictures on the 2nd floor. Other than the staircase, the Kauri Kingdom is not special. The staircase is what puts this place on the map. Using the staircase is free (thankfully).

Thank Xunliang_Lin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (48)
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36 - 40 of 48 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2014

Not much to see just a commercial shop really. O K to visit but I wouldn't make a special trip. The kauri staircase was amazing and some good info.

Thank Marg22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2014

C1 ( 2014.01.08 )
I stopped by there on the road to Cape Reinga. I expected there were many exhibits and goods, but I were wrong. Just expensive souvenir shop and rest area, I think. I recommand there was as rest area when tired to Cape Reinga.

Thank HanJuyoung
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 July 2013

Coach tours to 90 mile beach stop here and it is a good place to grab a coffee. There are some amazing carvings and the big staircase in the middle is carved out of a massive Kauri stump.

If you want to buy Kauri souvenirs you would be better off elsewhere as we saw much lower prices at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe and I am sure there must be smaller places that are more reasonable.

1  Thank SmallBizOwner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2013

Two very clear indices for a tourist trap:

1. High prices

A heavily promoted maori wood carving that is sold for >$400 at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom was seen for only $250 at the Kauri Museum in Matakohe. It was obviously exactly the same model, same wood, same size and same carving. Yet the price at the Ancient Kauri Kingdom was not negotiable at all.

2. Intentionally fooling customers

A big plate behind the counter says "Save 10% GST with overseas shipping!" (GST = New Zealand's VAT). Sounds like a good deal? Sorry, it isn't.

The truth is that all EU countries charge their own regular VAT rate on import goods. The minimum rate in EU is 15%, the maximum is 27%. In Austria, where I am from, it's 20%. So this is ALWAYS a bad deal for EU customers to save the 10% GST.

I can't believe that after decades in business - my first visit at the Kauri Kingdom was back in 2005 - and probably thousands of European customers (plenty of buses full with British, Germans, Austrians, etc. stop there every day on their way back from Cape Reinga tours) they are still unaware of import-VAT charged in EU, so I consider this an intentional rip off to make some extra money with delivery fees.

When I told them by email about the issue I just got a rude reply and after trying to find a solution that makes both sides happy, they didn't reply anymore at all. Awesome customer service!

2  Thank KiwiSchnitzel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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