We kayaked to a waterfall yesterday! There is something special about viewing a waterfall only accessible by boat. I guess you could hike through the native forest to see the falls, but there are no paths and it might be private property or sacred to the Maori people. Also, the view from the lake was spectacular. We launched our kayak from a nearby picnic spot and started the short tract to the falls. You can see it creeping out from behind the trees as you drive to the water edge, but once at the lake it hides behind the mountain side.
Paddling to the waterfall shouldn’t be too difficult on a calm day, unfortunately we were experiencing 2-3 foot swells that turned our kayak into a seesaw. With each splash into the water as the kayak crested a wave I remembered a horrible day on a playground when a boy jumped off the seesaw while I was high in the air causing me to crash hard and chip a tooth. It wouldn’t have been so bad if we had attached the kayak seats, but with little to brace yourself it was impossible to paddle effectively. To make matters worse thick, dark clouds covered the sun and the icy spray froze me to the core. My husband was determined to see the falls, as this was his second trip to see it. The first time he went with his brother and a storm forced them to turn back.
If you stay near the shoreline it is a beautiful trip to the waterfall. A small town with a deep red church in the center lays between the launch point and the cascades. The town is Wahi Village (NW of Tokanuu & Turangi), and it’s location on a seismic fault line makes it susceptible to landslides. The town has had to be evacuated more than once due to its precarious position, but the people who live there are very attached to the land and have no plan of relocating.
I attached a Google map of the area, but am having trouble getting it to stay in the exact location of the falls. If you follow Prince of Wales road north until it ends, you will see a dark line that looks like a river, that is the waterfall.
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