I have reserved a special place in my heart for waterfalls. It may originate from the environment where I grew up - water is a scarce commodity in a semi-desert, and having enough to overflow stacks of rock is very rare. One waterfall in New Zealand which holds a very special place in my heart, is the Wairere Falls. It may be because it was the first place in NZ where I found a truly magical place. If you close your eyes for a minute, until the quiet noises of the forest penetrates even your deepest thoughts, you will find fairies and magical creatures when you open your eyes again. It is a place where time loses its meaning,
The Wairere Falls are in the Kaimai's, somewhere between Te Aroha, Matamata, amd the foot of the SH29 leading to Tauranga. For the GPS enthusiasts amongst us, you can find it here :
To reach the Falls, park in the parking lot at the end of Goodwin Rd, lock up, settle in your best tramping diggs, and head up the footpath. The trail is well-kept, and there are toilets at the foot. The first bit is not too demanding, and it winds though the beautiful forest, crosses the river a few times, and culminates in a landing with a view on the main falls. From there the footpath is demanding, and the incline is steep. Not undoable, but not for the faint hearted either. If you follow the footpath to the summit, you are rewarded with breathtaking views across the Waikato. Perfect place for very dangerous selfies on the edge of the waterfall with the Waikato behind you!
For the nature lovers, take a pause, take some beautiful breaths of fresh air, close your eyes and surrender yourself to the quiet of the forest and the soft murmel of water over softly rounded rocks. Take time to explore the surrounds, lean against the cool of the green moss covered rocks, or sit on the edge of the stream with your feet in the water.
When you visit, plan a bit, it is not a short tramp, and parts are [hysically demanding. Make sure your mobile has ample battery (a booster is recommended), and if it is a hot and sunny day, remember that conditions can change really quickly. Most important: tell someone where you are going, and what time you expect to be back.
Do yourself the favor and visit!