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Author And Researcher
I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.
I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!
Te Reinga Falls is a thunderous and unusual waterfall. The look-out is a 5 minute walk. Watch the falls crash over the precipice and turn 90 degrees into a canyon...in an instant.
SPOT X - For adventurous types, look for the un-official side track down to the river. It's at your own risk and it can be slippery....we'll say no more....
In Frasertown, 7.5 km from Wairoa, turn right into Tiniroto Road. 25 km further, just before Te Reinga, turn left into Ruakituri Valley Road, where Te Reinga Falls are signposted. Cross the Te Reinga Bridge over the Ruakituri River and the parking area is on the left. The start of the track is signposted from by the information board.
The even metalled track follows the sound of the roar to a lookout platform. Although this gives good views of part of the falls, other segments are disappointingly out of view. The bellows of spray are testimony to the massive volumes of water that pour over the 35 metre-high falls.
Limestone is a prominent rock type in the region and is interbedded with layers of sandstone. A resistant sandstone cap forms the top of the falls. The course of the falls is in a state of flux and within living memory they have exploited different points on the top from which to flow.
The rocks were formed around 3 million years ago in the Pliocene. In 1973 they divulged some bones of a previously unknown penguin species (Tereingaornis moisleyi). Whale and dolphin fossil fragments confirm the rocks were formed in a submarine environment and the decaying creatures were preserved in layers of accumulating sediment.
According to one legend of Ngati Hinehika, two taniwha, Hinekorako and her brother Ruamano decided to race to the sea. On their journeys Hinekorako carved the Hongaroa River, while Ruamano left the Ruakituri river in his wake. Hinekorako was leading the race and decided to stop at Te Reinga. Ruamano came close behind, and in order to avoid disturbing his sister, crept by, forming the falls. He continued to the ocean and won the race, leaving his sister at Te Reinga.
North Island ▷ Out East ▷ Mahia
These Waterfalls are a little different to any I have seen. The water thunders over a decent drop and takes a quick turn at the bottom. It's like a waterfall / canyon combo. The viewpoint is at the top. The canyon can only be accessed by a slippery, unofficial track that isn't suited for kids or anyone that doesn't want to take responsibility for their own risk.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍