Monday, 30 April 2012

The New Zealand Diaries: No.11 - Who needs Victoria Falls?

If you ever get the chance to experience New Zealand, you'll realise just how breathtaking the landscape is. At times, it felt like I was holidaying in the Amazon rainforest, with the vivid colours, cool climate and dense bush.

And experiencing Purakaunui Falls was like the icing on the cake. A stunning, natural waterfall hidden in the middle of the rainforest.

Like an oasis, the waterfall was magical. Blue, fresh spring water splashing down on to smooth, mountain rock, creating a haze that could match the spray from Niagra or Victoria.

The falls are located a small way down a forest track, making it easy for visitors to find. Yet the walk was fun, offering visitors the chance to look up into the trees for various birds, and watching underfoot for any insects or small mammals. Most of it was untouched, and the whole experience seemed very natural, as if I was the first person to explore this wilderness.

With any falls, the sound is the first thing you notice when approaching. Imagine the relaxing sound of water trickling down onto your window pane, only this time louder and more aggressive. Kind of relaxing really.

Then there's the smell. Hard to explain, it was a mixture of wet wood and the freshest air possible (if that is a smell!?) It was great just to stop and breath the atmosphere in, soak it in if you pardon the pun!

Then you see it. A small footbridge takes you right to the heart of the small stream, as you witness the water cascading down from quite some way up. The waterfall is tiered in several places, making it even more magical.

The chance to see such a creation was rather humbling, and definitely worth the twenty minute walk to. If you get the chance, make sure you bring your camera!

(First photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
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