Wairere Falls

Hi guys,

During ANZAC day (25th Apr), I finally got to visit Wairere Falls. A place I’ve been dying to go to for a few months now. It’s the highest waterfall in the North Island and you can see just how big it is on the way to the entrance.

The walking track to the falls is located on Goodwin Road; around 15 mins drive from Matamata town centre. The track is quite straightforward with signs to help you. It has a few bridges for you to look at the boulders and streams laying about.

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My attempt at getting the smooth water effect

I’m not sure if the track is usually as slippery and muddy, or if it was due to the intense rainfall we had the week before, but I tripped quite a few times so be careful when trekking here as the track has a lot of rocks, tree roots and high steps that make it easy to slip and fall. Most of the walk is covered within the forest of trees so it’s not too hot and there’s no searing sun blasting onto your neck. You’re also allowed to take dogs here which makes for a great family trip or even a great day for your beloved pet.

The first lookout is around 45 mins and from here you can see a direct view of the 153m waterfall.

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Wairere Falls

If you’re not already exhausted from the walk to the lookout, you can walk a further 45 mins to the second lookout at the top of the falls. It is absolutely worth it to get to the top. The views you get are stunning and the weather we had that day just topped it off. You know you’re almost there when you start hearing the sound of rushing water, and not long after you turn a corner and can see a beautiful shallow stream.

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Stream at the top

If you continue walking downstream, you reach the cliff edge where the waterfall starts and the water is so shallow that you can walk right up to the edge and in the stream where you can see the Waikato plains below you. You feel like you’re on top of the world. There was even a family grilling sausages on a portable BBQ for lunch! If you bring along packed sandwiches and some snacks it would make one of the best places to eat lunch with a view 🙂

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Walking to the edge of the waterfall

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We made it !

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Picturesque

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The Amazing View of our flat Waikato Plains

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Soaking it all in

The path back is the same way you came up but its a lot faster and easier! This is a must go place if you’re ever driving past the Waikato.

-medlabgeek

 

Kitekite Falls

Its Auckland Anniversary Day today so it was a long weekend. It was also my friend’s birthday during the weekday so we thought we would celebrate it by going to hike up the waterfalls and cool off in the pools at the top.

So many people had the same idea ! (I don’t blame them) It’s a great place to get out and enjoy nature in such a busy city like Auckland. Especially since it’s not far from the city – around 40 mins drive. And best of all, its free! 🙂

It was a scorching day and I couldn’t wait to go take a dip. The entrance to the track is at the end of Glenesk Road and there’s a big sign telling you it takes 30 minutes to the falls. If you follow that track it takes you to the bottom of the falls which has a big pool that you can swim in. You can also see the huge waterfall in front of you.

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Base of Kitekite Falls

If you want to go to the top, its a 15 min walk on the left side of the falls up the connect track or if you wanted to go straight up the top and not stop at the base; you can start at the Byer’s walk on Glenesk Road and merge onto the connect track (beware there’s lots of steps). It’s a great workout! My calves were sore the next day.

By the time we made it, I couldn’t wait to jump in. But when I did jump in, oh man was it cold! I definitely couldn’t stay in there for long. But theres a rocky outcrop to the side that you can sit on and relax. Over there, you can see another pool below you and a great view of just trees and trees and trees. It was such a nice way to cool off and stare into the distance with the sun keeping you warm, a gentle breeze and the coolness of the water on your toes.

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Top of kitekite falls

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View below the pool

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Rocky outcrop to sit and relax on the left

-medlabgeek

 

White Water Rafting Okere Falls

A few days after New Years, I went on a road trip with some friends before driving back to Rotorua for work. We decided to all go white water rafting, which I was super keen to try because I’ve never done it before. Boy was I missing out! I loved it! I was really nervous beforehand because I knew we were going down a 7 metre waterfall which sounded hugeeee to me and I was scared of all these rapids on the river. But our guide Jamie was great and made everyone feel so hyped and ready to take on this challenge! The place we went to was called Rotorua Rafting (they are number 1 on trip advisor if you search rafting at Okere falls). I highly recommend this place ! It costs $85 pp but if you come with a group you get a discount. They do take some photos of you and you can see all of them before deciding if you want to purchase the photos which are $40 and given on a USB. If you come as a group like I did, you can split that cost and share the photos to each other so it would be even cheaper.

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We were given a quick intro on how to manoeuvre the paddles and what to do for certain commands and away we went. The rapids weren’t as bad as I thought and we even got to jump out the raft and slide down the rapids with our bodies lying flat on our backs! They gave us heaps of opportunities to experience the river and take some pit stops. We all got to climb up a mini cliff and jump off it into the river and swim towards our raft. Everyone had life jackets and a helmet on so I felt perfectly safe with them. They also had two solo kayaker’s that came along to help anyone if someone couldn’t swim or anything went awry. You can definitely tell that all the guides are very experienced on the river so you don’t feel like you’re in danger at all.

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I sat in the front with my friend but they all picked me to sit on the front of the raft and hold on to some ropes while they all sat on the back and paddled me through a mini waterfall and that was amazing! I made it through without falling but my “friends” pushed me off afterwards haha

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The guide also tries to paddle you head first into some rapids to experience the water pouring over you, I got to sit in the front and ended up literally sitting under a mini waterfall with the water pouring in front of me which was surreal! The whole trip took around 1.5 hours, we started at 4.30pm and it finished at 6 but after getting changed and looking at the photos before leaving, it was a good 2 hours. During good weather their last session is at 4.30 but during winter when the days are shorter, their last session is at 3. I recommend you book in advance as they are really busy. Even though we had 29 of us at the 4.30 session, we still had heaps of fun because all the groups were split off with their own guide and raft so we felt like we were still by ourselves.

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After having dinner, we all decided to relax. What better way to relax than a thermal spa 😀 We went to the infamous Polynesian spa in Rotorua which opens till 11pm and on a good night you can lie in the hot pools and look at the starry sky. I can honestly say that the pools there really do work wonders for you. My skin felt amazing after the soak. It was silky smooth and they had signs for each of the pools that tell you what they are generally used for such as aches and pains etc. The only downside is the smell of sulphur that gets into your hair so tie it up if you have long hair! (It still smelt after I washed it).

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I can’t wait to go white water rafting again, maybe even try black water rafting in the future !

-medlabgeek