Now which city in the world have you been to, that has half a dozen waterfalls all within a radius of under 3kms from the town centre? I certainly hadn’t been to or heard of one until I made it into the town of Kerikeri, in the Bay of Islands. And these falls aren’t like the half ass tap-dripping ones, they are actually very pretty; with a couple of them very under rated for what they actually are. I made it only to two of them and both were equally gorgeous in their own ways yet very different to each other.
I was in Paihia last weekend and after spending an entire day in the small tourist town as well as in the historically significant town of Waitangi, I drove towards the largest town in the Far North District, Kerikeri. Sometimes when I come across towns like this, I always wonder why the names are have a repeat word in it. Like this one’s Kerikeri, I’ve been to or driven past so many double dipper towns with names like Kawakawa, Pekapeka, Mikimiki, Meremere, Ramarama, Tikitiki, Parapara etc among many others. It’s more of a common thing to come across Maori town names more in the North Island than in the South. There are plenty down there too but North surely has more, probably cuz of the proximity to other islands for the early settlers centuries ago.
Coming back to Kerikeri; when I drove into the town a beautiful tree full of spring flowers welcomed me. It was so good that I had to pull over to take a few photos. It looked like a blown up potted flower plant, about 20x larger than the original 🙂 There wasn’t anything special about Kerikeri as such and it looked like most pretty towns across the country, with a busy Main Street with plenty of eateries, cafes, colorful flowers and trees, usual petrol stations etc etc. I went into the I-site located within the library to find out what I could do in the town in a few hours, the lovely lady suggested about the waterfalls and a couple of other bits including the Stone Store (the older store in New Zealand established in 1831 and is still trading to this day).
So, after I looked up some details about the waterfalls, I chose to go to 3 of them. I started with the Haruru Falls which was somewhere between Waitangi & Kerikeri. It wasn’t until I made it to the falls, that I could admire its beauty. It’s a small but wide waterfall taken for granted, like most people do with a lot of things in their lives and don’t give a damn, kind of waterfall. It is literally 3 mins walk from the road that passes by & from the road, you can’t even tell there’s such a lovely body of water falling somewhere, waiting to be adored. From the car park it was like a 2 minute walk to get to the mouth of the fall. It is so easily accessible that you could sit by the mouth of the falls and not get sucked away by the flowing water. I could easily have been there for a few hours if it wasn’t for the hot sun. I just sat there for a good 45minutes or so, just smiling and enjoying the nature all by myself. And for the entire time I was there, not a single soul came by !! Here, the picture below is Haruru Falls.
The next one I decided was to head to Rainbow Falls. This is a slightly more popular one in the region, so I was expecting a lot more tourists. But when I made it to the car park there were only 3 or 4 cars. From the car park the closest view point was just under a minute’s walk and wow ! What a beautiful fall this is. The second view point was another 2 minutes from there and it literally is a platform right above the mouth of the waterfall. After clicking a couple of pics the obvious adventurous side of me wanted to get even closer to the mouth, so I went off the track into the woods and right next to the falls’ mouth. And it was very high no doubt.. The falls is just about 100 ft in height but from that close up, it feels a lot higher. And add to that the sound of roaring water, makes it even more fierce than what it actually seems like. After spending a good hour or so there, I went to the bottom of the falls where it lands into the pool below. Was a good 20min hike one way and was amazing to be there. Again if I had my swimming gear or just even a towel I’d happily jump in, given how hot it was on the day. But alas ! I had neither, so I just enjoyed the whole waterfall experience for sometime n then made my way back to the car park before I could drive away, further north, from there.