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Choosing a type of firewood can be overwhelming and confusing for a newbie. Here is a list of typically available firewood, and their outstanding positives and negatives.

If you are cooking on a wood fired stove, the right kind of firewood can be the difference between a delicious dinner and a last minute sandwich.

Pine firewood

Positives: Cheap, freely available, dries fast, easy to light (makes awesome kindling). Negatives: Burns fast and struggles to make a real hot fire, can spit so might not be good for open fires.

Macrocarpa firewood

Positives: Mid range price, freely available, doesn’t take too long to dry, puts out a medium heat fire and burns for a moderate amount of time. Negatives: can spark a lot and for some, it is not suited to open fires.

Manuka/Kanuka/Tea-tree firewood

Positives: Burns hot, long and clean. Smells amazing so is often used for smokers or pizza ovens. Negatives: More expensive, not as common, works best on top of a well-established fire, takes 18+ months to season properly.

Eucalyptus/Gum firewood

Positives: Readily available, mid-range price, burns hot and long, great for banking up your fire or for cooking in a wood fired stove. Negatives: Needs the fire to be hot before being added, takes 8-12 months to season/dry.

Poplar or Willow firewood

Positives: Fairly cheap, ignites easily. Negatives: Burns very fast so you will chew through it.

Gorse/Broom/Tagasaste (tree lucerne)

These are all cousins and while probably won’t be available commercially as firewood but they are freely available around the country.

You may find a farmer all too happy to let you remove theirs for them! Positives: Could be free! Burns HOT and long – one of the best firewoods.

Due to its thinner sticks, it dries faster than you might expect. Negatives: Gorse has horrid prickles.

Choosing the type of wood you should get/buy/plant can be quite overwhelming. In general all wood will burn and the best wood is the one you can get for free.

But given the choice, some woods are definitely better than others. You can use this information to decide what you want to burn on your own fire.

What is your favorite firewood and why? Tell us in the comments below!

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The best firewood options for cooking in a woodstove if you are based in Australia or New Zealand


Dana is a homesteading, homeschooling mama to 3, based in the south of New Zealand.

She is a Certified Ketogenic Living Coach, and natural wellness expert, as well as a Registered Nurse, with post grad training in mothers and babies. She has struggled with infertility and PCOS and conceived all 3 babies naturally.

Dana is passionate about natural health and gentle parenting. With a background in well child / baby nursing she loves sharing what she knows with mamas, mamas-to-be and mama-want-to-be’s.

She enjoys getting out in the garden, or just sitting at the beach in the sun. Dana also blogs about fertility and pregnancy at, coaches people through and creates meal plans for

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