Not all wood burns equally. Firewood prices reflect that. Ideally you would have a mixture so that you have fast burning softwood to get the fire going with then lots of slow burning hardwood to give you warmth for longer overnight.
In New Zealand, Pine is a softwood so a good, fast burning option. Likewise, Macrocarpa will start easily plus give you a slower burn overnight. It is a good all-round option. Gum is a hardwood that will burn slowly and may require something like Pine or Macrocarpa so you can start the fire. Having said that, with fire lighters or small chippy bits, you can happily get away with just Gum - a large proportion of our customers do.
Hardwood is more expensive, but you will enjoy more heat from the same amount of wood. Plus you won’t need to buy or stack as much, or top up the fire as often. The next time you see a super duper cheap deal on firewood, make sure you check which species it is as chances are it won’t be good quality hardwood and you’re likely to be disappointed.
Please note that Macrocarpa will spit and spark so isn’t appropriate for an open fire. Opt for Gum instead.
Another option we have at Log Works are Sawmill Offcuts or 'Millslab'. Generally we have this in Macrocarpa as we saw a lot of it. Millslab isn't split so it doesn't look like traditional firewood. It has some straight sides. Because of the rectangular shape of many of the pieces, it stacks into your shed and firebox beautifully and burns really well. It also fits into the truck with less gaps giving you more wood per cube than the traditionally split style. While the length is uniform (generally 30cm but you can specify a different length to suit), the size of the pieces depend on what size of timber we were sawing at the time.
Here is a picture of Macrocarapa Millslab to give you an idea: