Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Road to Marakopa

So this morning I went for a walk up to the falls at the Mangaokewa Reserve, a lovely little 20 min walk through some lovely bush to a small but rather pretty waterfall.

From there headed off to Te Kuiti for a fuel stop as it was going t be quite a trip before the next fuel. The plan is to head through Waitomo to see various sights on the way through to Marakopa and then on to Waikawau.

So heading off from Te Kuiti, the weather was a bit fine, a bit rainy but nothing too bad. So first stop was the Free Parking spot of Waitomo Lookout. It was a tiny rest stop right besde the main road (Te Anga Road). The weather was not that good and the view was not there, but in fine weather, I believe that you can see across to Mt Ruapehu and the view is quite spectacular. So moving on form there to the…..

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It was a lovely little 5 min walk on a well graded path and into the most amazing area.

It is the remnants of a cave system that had collapsed leaving the arch which is enormous.

From there the track loops out into some lovely pasture with some wonderful limestone rock formations. You can see the oyster shells still shiny and embedded into the rock.

From there it was off down the road to the Piripiri Caves. Only 10 mins down the road.

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A nice 10 mins walk into the cave but something like 120 stairs up and down to get there!

But well worth the effort.

The weird sparkles in the pictures are droplets of water falling from the roof of the caves. It was a lovely area with obviously more of a system than we were allowed into.

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The pics above are the entrance from inside.

From there a short drive to the Marakopa Falls, again a 6 min walk to one of New Zealand’s nicest falls.

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It certainly was a lovely waterfall and again well worth the 6 min walk to get there.

From there a bit of a drive through to Marakopa itself on the coast. A lovely little town. A quick stop to look and then on towards Waikawau. The wind at this point was starting to pick up.

As we climbed out of Marakopa the view was spectacular so I stopped and took some pictures.

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Quite wonderful!

So a bit of a wander along some gravel road to Waikawau where the wind was blowing a gale.

At the end of the road….

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is a lovely tunnel to the beach…..

The wind was horrendous, rocking the Fredrock Cafe around quite a bit, but it finally settled around 6:30pm and a lovely quiet night was had.

It is a lovely spot and the cliffs are huge and it is pretty apparent why the tunnel was dug to get to the beach. Though it seems that there is no beach at high tide.

It is a lovely area with a bit of a tidal lagoon where the river comes down to the sea.

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I watched a bird fishing this morning….

So a much nicer day today and heading off towards Mt Damper Falls to have a look.

Safe travels.