POHUTUKAWA (Metrosideros excelsa) is often called the New Zealand Christmas tree because it has red flowers and it blooms at Christmas time in New Zealand.

The name pohutukawa translated means “drenched with mist”, “sprayed by mist”.

It’s an awesome sight to see these trees flowering, especially along the coastline which is a favourite place for these trees to grow clinging precariously to the cliffs.

When Stuart’s mother first arrived at Motutara Homestead in 1922, her father gave her a pohutukawa tree as a gift. She planted it in our front yard, and today the tree is a magnificent specimen. We refer to this tree as our “Big Lady” and every December our family has a competition as to who will be the first person to spot the first flowers to appear!
(“She” is fairly regular at flowering Christmas week).

Because of this connection with the pohutukawa tree, we have included it in our logo

Pohutukawa tree at Auckland Eco-tour and Farm Visit Coast to Coast Tours historic Homestead

Motutara Homestead pohutukawa tree at Motutara Homestead Auckland Coast to Coast Tours

Pohutukawa trees flower for 4-5 weeks, …and then the flower (filaments) drop to the ground…….we call this red snow !!!

red snow red snow from pohutukawa flowers

The pohutukawa grows abundantly in our area, and is one of the trees that we plant for our Carbon Credit Reserves. Should you like one of these trees to be used as “your” tree, do just let us know on the day of your tour!

The honey from the pohutukawa is almost pure white in colour and very delicately flavoured… Do try some when we take you for honey-tasting.