Saturday, February 22, 2014

Climbing up to see the water fall

Wairere Falls from the road (copyright Eventful Woman)
I should have realised that there could be no huff without puff when TH (The Husband) and I decided to check out Wairere Falls. (Te Reo Maori translation: Wairere = Waterfall). We'd seen these falls from a distance in the Kaimai Ranges, while driving on State Highway 27. We had often said "We must go there one day".

Well, THE day had finally come to get up-close and personal with the falls. While lacing up my 'action woman' walking shoes, I glanced at the information sign at the start of the track: 1.5 hours walk to the base of the falls and back. I huffed at that, thinking it would take me no more than an hour.

The walk started gently through the dappled bush and past some impressive, moss-covered boulders. 'Easy on the eye' as well as easy walking. I began to gloat that I'd knock it off in 45 minutes.  As the saying goes, 'pride comes before a fall'... 

The track took a sharp turn down to the river. The puffing started as we started to climb steeply upwards, following the river. Soon I was scrambling over large rocks. However, the prettiness of the river banks and the rushing water were charming. This was great stuff and I wanted to see more.  It was then that I saw the staircases towering upwards. Who would have thought we'd find those in the middle of the bush?
Stairway to heaven? (copyright Eventful Woman)
I puffed up several sets of stairs and stopped on each landing to gasp and mop my brow in the summer heat. I hoped the view would be heavenly when we got there - right now it felt like a treadmill to hell. TH scoffed at my groans, but I noticed that his chest was heaving.

Rivers of sweat later and gasps of "How much further?" to those coming down, we stumbled onto the lookout platform. The falls were magnificent, even if they were in low flow because of the dry weather. We lolled against the safety barrier, drinking in the view. The whirring of the cicadas drowned out the wheezing moans from other hikers still slugging up the track.

Wairere Waterfall (copyright Eventful Woman)
Going down was a happy affair. No puffing nor huffing, plus the chance to give encouraging cries of "not far" to those groaning their way up.

Going down is easy  (copyright Eventful Woman)
It took exactly 1.5 hours return to the car park.  (Not counting the time spent enjoying the waterfall). HAH, so much for thinking I was faster than a speeding bullet.

Recommended as an eventful trip.

The track status is 'dog friendly'. Take your togs (swimsuit) and plenty of water to drink (for you and your hound). Expect lots of people during the summer holidays. Great family outing.

Further information:

Click here to find out more about Wairere Falls and how to get there.

Need accommodation? Eventful Woman recommends Homestead Mountain View Bed & Breakfast in nearby Te Aroha. The homestead is a 1890's villa, lovingly restored to it's original elegance and splendour and set in a peaceful, picturesque garden. It has uninterrupted views of Mount Te Aroha in all it's changing moods.  Click here to find out more.

Misty morning view of Mt Te Aroha from the guest bedroom at Homestead Mountain View B&B (copyright Eventful Woman)

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