22 Rankers Reviews
The elegantly constructed boardwalk through the mangroves provides the ideal way to explore this unique habitat, which is otherwise inaccessible by foot.
The walk starts from the northern end of the Waitangi National Trust Park, opposite the Waitangi Trust Visitor Centre. This is the nearest carpark.
Alternatively, if attempting the walk in reverse, follow Puketona Road from Paihia for 5km and turn right into Haruru Falls Road. There is a carpark on the right after the bridge over the Waitangi River.
Initially the track skirts the golf course (follow the yellow marker posts), before passing through a turnstile. Through the kanuka forest the track is wide and well-formed but unmetalled.
After 1 hour the track crosses an arm of the estuary on a boardwalk, which continues for approximately 20 minutes through the mangroves. It can be slippery when wet.
At the end of the boardwalk, turn left. The track skirts the shoreline of the Waitangi River before exiting through a turnstile. There is a 2-minute walk from the carpark at the Haruru Falls to a lookout over the falls.
Mangroves (Avicennia resinifera) are uniquely adapted to their harsh environment. Their shallow radial roots anchor well in the anaerobic muds and protect the trees from strong winds and tidal scours. Vertical breathing roots, known as pneumatophores, are exposed at low tide and enable the trees to transpire.
The leaves have a waxy topside, which reflects the strong light, and a downy coat of fine hairs on their underside retards the loss of water through transpiration. Mangrove seeds germinate on the tree and the seedpods can be carried on tidal currents for up to four months while the seed remains viable.
Mangroves are important indicators of the ecological health of an estuary. They reoxygenate the water and provide habitat for molluscs, crustaceans, up to 30 fish species and numerous wading birds.
After the boardwalk, the native vegetation sequence is exhibited on the estuary, from mangroves to salt marshes to coastal scrub.
The Haruru Falls form a picturesque crescent and drain the Waitangi River. Before the advent of Europeans, horses and bridle tracks, the Waitangi River was the main Maori communications route. Haruru Falls represented the entrance to the Bay of Islands.
Haruru was a busy port in the late 1800s, exporting timber, kauri gum, cattle, dairy produce, sheep and wool.
North Island ▷ Northland ▷ Paihia
Showing 13 reviews of 21.
Nice view but sometimes too much bush.
A nice walk through the forest on a small road. The bad thing is that the waterfall is small but the walk is really nice.
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Three hour walk . Nice bush walk into the mangrove. At the end, you end up at a waterfall. It was not an impressive waterfall. Coming back by the road is risky.
Really nice walk with nice spots! The walk over the river was also really good.
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Mangrove part is very nice, through Kiwi territory, then on to the waterfall at the end.
Very nice walk through forest, one can see mangroves, lots of birds. But Haruru Falls itself is a bit disappointing as it is really tiny.
Started at Falls, straight into a bushwalk which got a bit boring then through a Mangrove swamp - very interesting. Took 2 hours.
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Good track through forest, kiwi habitat, mangrove forests. With Haruru Falls as the destination it is a lovely walk.
2 hour walk through the forest.
Really long way but beautiful at the end.
A well maintained and pleasing track, but one which has been reported inaccurately by e.g. paihia.co.nz making all other downline figures wrong too.
Stats from GPS: averaged over several two-way journeys:
Distance one way = 4.6 km.
Time one way = 1.5 hours (slow-to-moderate pace with a few stops to take in the scenery). Terrain is flat to slight undulation, never more than ca. 20 m ASL. Hope that puts it into perspective.
Nice track goes through the mangrove - about two hours.
A lot of different things to see and a nice and quiet place in the touristic Bay of Islands.
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 😍