Our weekend continued: Wairere Falls
After we’d spent an enjoyable few hours at Firth Tower Reserve we decided it was time to move on, however, the sun was still shining and it was far too early to set off home.
Hence… we ended up just another 20kms or so up the road (North of Matamata) at the beautifully stunning Wairere Falls.
Reputed to be the highest waterfall in New Zealand’s North Island, the falls plunge 153 metres (500 feet) then disappear into the depths of native bush.
We parked with the multitude of other vehicles in the car park where the falls are signposted from. At this point the falls appear distant but not TOO far away. The walk should not be a problem I think.
We set off with our two canine friends in tow (or rather, they towed us) and ventured into the bush on the well used path.
As such a trip had been unplanned I was relatively ill-prepared for the trip with thin soled canvas plimsolls proving a little slippy and feeling every single pebble they stood on.
The walk was obviously popular and we met many people on the track, perhaps not all huffing and puffing quite as much as me.
For the most part the walk is in the bush with minor trips into daylight and particularly enjoyable parts where a bridge suddenly appeared and took us over the tumbling river.
(Where a MAD friend of mine tells me he went for a cool Spring swim the other week!).
The car park to the lookout point is signposted as taking 45 mins and (in my personal unqualified opinion) requires a medium degree of fitness to do it in that time.
There’s a particularly wicked set of steep stairs that just about did my legs in and the last ten minutes definitely seemed the hardest – or is that what they all say?
(Please don’t let me put you off… I am a very inexperienced walker who needs lots of practice in the exercise department. The ten-year-old seemed to bound up there just fine, reminiscent of a mountain goat even).
I made it to the lookout point with my lungs and plimsolls almost at breaking point.
The path continues up to the top of the falls but it was not even a question that we debated.
We rested up, enjoyed the view (of lots of tourists taking pictures) and then turned around to head back down.
The said mad friend I mentioned earlier, happened to visit the falls again the day previous to our visit and after seeing the photograph he took from the top I can assure you it IS absolutely stunning.
I will attempt to make the trip all the way up one day (with better shoes; working, practiced lungs and some refreshments joining me).
For now, I leave you with a 100% recommendation that you should put Wairere Falls on your to-do list.
Whether you make it to the top, the lookout, or even just the car park – it’s worth the trip.