free interior decorating and design education from
Learn Decorating with Us!
Search Interiordezine Network
Custom Search
Follow Lee Brown on Twitter

Pacific New Zealand Australia Wood

Types of Timber and Wood from Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands for Interior Decoration

Characteristics of Timber and Wood from Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands

Fijian Kauri

– Softwood

– Very large Tree (same family as New Zealand Kauri)

– Native to Fiji

– Heartwood is pale cream to golden brown and is non durable

– Sapwood is straw to pale brown with visible flecks

– Fine texture, usually straight grained

– Not very strong

– Looks very similar to New Zealand Kauri

Uses – Doors, turning, panelling, mouldings, high quality furniture

Black Butt

– Species of Eucalyptus cut for timber in Australia


– Any Eucalyptus tree with a hard solid bark, valued for its wood


– Hardwood

– Native of Western Australia

– Dark red / burgundy colored timber

– Weather resistant

– Eucalyptus species


– Native of Australia

– Hardwood

– Pale yellow brown timber colour

– Eucalyptus species

– Very hard greasy durable timber

Rimu (Red Pine)

– Softwood

– Tall tree 35-60m

– Native to New Zealand

– Heartwood is reddish brown color and is moderately durable

– Sapwood is an even pale brown color (non durable and prone to insect attack)

Uses – Building Grade – construction, Appearance Grade – high quality joinery, furniture and fittings (now only available in recyclable format)

Pale Rimu

Pale Rimu

Kahikatea (White Pine)

– Tallest New Zealand Native Tree 60m max height

– Softwood

– Native to New Zealand

– Heartwood is yellow/ bright yellow and is moderately durable when treated

– Sapwood is pale white and very susceptible to insect attack

– Most perishable native timber

– Odourless timber (can be used in food areas)

– Fine grain

– Soft and easily worked

– Grows naturally very clear timber

– Long clear boards available

– Dressing grades, rusticated weatherboards available


– Average height 30m with a large girth

– Native to New Zealand

– Softwood

– Sapwood is nondurable and a light brown color

– Speckle in timber, pepper like appearance characteristics

Uses – multipurpose but restricted to high quality furniture due to its availability. Was previously used for flooring, weatherboards, sarking, and framing. Some second growth timber is available and a lot of recycled timber. Swamp kauri is another main source, submerged for over 40,000 years.


– Softwood

– Native to New Zealand

– Strong Tree up to 25m in height

– Heartwood is straw yellow to chestnut, darkens to a deep red (non durable)

– Sapwood is white and is susceptible to insect attack

– Straight grained timber with a fine even texture

Uses – joinery, furniture

Rewa Rewa (Honeysuckle)

– Hardwood

– Native to New Zealand

– Tall tree to 30m in height

– Heartwood is a dark reddish to purple brown (non durable)

– Sapwood is silvery pinkish brown (non durable)

– Very prominent medullary rays when quarter sawn making it easily identified

– Tough and hardwearing

Uses – mostly craft as low supply available


– Hardwood

– Native to New Zealand

– Heartwood is bright creamy brown (in large trees it can be dark brown to black)

– Strong but non durable

– Medium tree, 20-25m in height with willow like foliage

– Sapwood is very light, almost white in color, non durable

– High yield of finishing grade timber

Uses – very useful for furniture, joinery, doors, drawers, bench tops, wooden knobs.

New Zealand Tawa

New Zealand Tawa


– Softwood

– Native to New Zealand

– Tall tree – massive 30-50m in height

– Very durable heartwood (can be put in the ground untreated)

– Even red brown color

– Sapwood is a pale brown color and susceptible to insect attack

– Brittle timber, not strong

– Soft, straight grained, fine even textured timber

– Availability – high quality dressed grades

– Care is required when finishing due to natural oils in the timber

Silver Beech

– Hardwood

– Native to New Zealand

– Medium to large tree

– Heartwood is brownish pink and is moderately durable

– Sapwood is light greyish pink and is non durable

– Mainly dressing and appearance grades available

Uses – cabinet making, dowels, brush ware handles

Red Beech

– Hardwood

– Native to New Zealand

– Large evergreen tree 30m high

– Heartwood is durable and light to medium red brown in color

– Sapwood is susceptible to insect attack

Uses – similar to silver beech

Hard Beech

– Hardwood

– Native to New Zealand

– Large 25-35m high tree

– Heartwood is straw to light brown in color and is durable

– Sapwood is lighter than heartwood and susceptible to insect attack

Uses – structural bridge beams, form uses

For more on Interior Design and Decorating Interior Finishes – Types of Timber and Wood select from below.

South America



Pakistan / India / Burma / Sri Lanka / Malaysia / Indonesia

Canada / USA

About the Author – Lee Brown

Lee Brown is the co founder of, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse