Thursday 11 November 2021

A Stunning Waterfall and Other Bits


Yesterday I had the wonderful experience of being able to ‘escape’ the city again.  This time it was down to Waitomo, near Te Kuiti, and our trip was made more memorable by the superb sunny weather we had.

On our way we passed through Temple View, where the attractive church of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is situated.

First stop was at the Mangapohue Natural Bridge.  There was nobody there except us (one of the few benefits of covid restrictions!), so it was incredibly peaceful.

The boardwalk travelled along beside a stream that once flowed through the base of a large cave system (this area is full of limestone caves). 

The cave roof collapsed long ago, and all that remains now is a natural rock bridge that towers 17 metres above the stream.

Next stop was Marakopa Falls.  The track to view these is only 420 metres long, but it is extremely steep (and it took me more than twice as long to come back up!).

But, wow, the walk was definitely worth it.  The falls were breathtakingly beautiful, with the sun making the water sparkle as it roared over the 35 metre rock face.

We stood in the lookout area for a long time, just admiring the view and feeling the light misty spray brushing against our faces.

Another twenty minutes’ drive and we arrived at Marakopa itself, with its river mouth and black sandy beach.  There were people swimming in the river and others were fishing off the beach further down from us. 

It was full tide and the distant ocean waves could be seen crashing over the sand bar at the mouth of the river.

It was also hitting 25 degrees, so we never stayed long – have you tried touching black sand in the heat?  It is burning!

A shady tree further up the river made a pleasant spot to have some afternoon tea, looking out over the river with all its reflections. 

It was so still and balmy, that it was possible to hear the sheep bleating from the opposite hill.

All in all, it was a most pleasurable day – the sort of day that lingers in the memory to be treasured and brought out every now and then when one needs a bit of cheering up.

Margaret 😊


  1. Good for you...a day trip that looks beautiful! The falls, the black sand, the sheep - ahhh so peaceful. And so nice to see the New Zealand Temple...we were married in the Washington DC Temple ages ago - the grounds are always so pretty. Thanks for sharing the's always so much fun to see what such a faraway place looks like. Mary

  2. Magical... Simply magical.... What a beautiful, beautiful Country you live in!!!!!

    Black sand = Hot sand. Yes, because black absorbs heat. White repels it. -smile-

    But no, I have never had the experience of even seeeeeing black sand!


  3. Stunning pictures.
    I’m glad your getting nice weather here in Australia we are having lots and lots of rain

  4. How I love that road - and it is spectacular on a warm spring day as we have been having. I well remember the heat of the black sand - it was all I ever knew growing up!! So glad you had such a delightful escape!
    Stay safe

  5. What a beautiful waterfall, I can just imagine feeling the cool spray from it on my face in the hot weather.
    I haven't been to the Waitomo caves for many years. Did you manage to get to see any glow worms on your walk? Ahhh, black iron sand, yes very hot in the sun. I made the mistake of trying to walk on it barefoot once and it felt like my feet were going to burn up with the heat.
    Have a lovely rest of the week. Hugs Rose x

    1. There are glow worms in the Natural Bridge, but, of course, they are not active in daytime. We did see their silk though (when we looked), looking like lots of fragile cobwebs hanging down.

  6. That looks to me like the perfect day, Margaret. Thanks for showing us the Marakopa Falls. Are they near the township? Another place to be added to my Bucket List!

    1. The Falls are about 40 minutes past Waitomo Caves, and then it was about another 20 minutes to reach the village of Marakopa. The road was tar-sealed the whole way, although sometimes a bit twisty and turny, and we returned on the same road so as to avoid gravel roads. It took us close on 2 hours to return back to Hamilton from Marakopa, but we weren't in any hurry.

  7. Such stunning beauty all around you. Wonderful and as you say memorable. B x

  8. Perhaps in life one never quite experiences perfection but this must come pretty close to it!

  9. I could almost hear the water and the sheep. Gorgeous! Thanks for taking us along.

  10. What a wonderful day...the falls are do beautiful. I bet black sand is hot...I have not seen any.

  11. Beautiful scenes. That was a marvellous trip

  12. That sounds like such a day full of wonderful spots to visit. The Falls are so impressive!!
    I'm glad you were able to go.


Thank-you for visiting my blog. I love it when you leave a comment so please feel free to have your say. Have a great day! Margaret xx