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2007-05-01 07:18 - Coastal California - waterfalls where the ocean meets the sky

While Southern California is in the middle of one of its driest winter/spring seasons, it's pretty obvious that few of the waterfalls down here are flowing this spring. However, if you go further up the coast, you may be surprised at what you'll find.

From as far south as Santa Barbara to the rugged yet wildly beautiful Big Sur Coast to the redwoods in the northernmost regions of California, you'll be greeted with miles upon miles of beaches and sea cliffs. Upon a visit here, it'll soon become apparent why its known as the place where the ocean meets the sky.

However, you'll also get waterfalls which complement the coastal scenery. Such waterfalls include Big Sur's signature waterfall McWay Falls and Point Reyes National Seashore's star waterfall attraction Alamere Falls. Click below to see some of Coastal California's other waterfall attractions... [read more]

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2007-05-02 07:17 - Yosemite Springing Early

This year, the Yosemite National Park's snowpack is less than half of its historical average due to the relatively dry winter and spring of recent months. But this means that the waterfalls have sprung to life. April is usually a pretty good time of year to visit the park and see its waterfalls because it's before the summer crowd, the mosquitoes haven't hatched en masse, and the temperature is usually comfortable with highs in the 60s to 70s. However, with the early thaw, there's even more reason to come at this time.

Click below to see some of Yosemite National Park's waterfall treasures... [read more]

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2007-05-03 07:25 - New Featured Waterfall


Unser Fritz Falls, New Zealand


Unser Fritz Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-03 07:27 - Mt Cook Glacier permanently damaged by Climate Change

I guess the hits keep coming with all the Global Warming and Climate Change consequences. This time, the Mt Cook Glacier has been melting into a lake, which carries the glaciers away and thus can never regain its former volume even if there was Global Cooling to the extent of pre-industrialism (of course this doesn't count an Ice Age in which case a large percentage of the planet would be under ice). Thus, waterfalls fed on this side of the Southern Alps (Wakefield Falls is one of them) could be affected.

The glaciers are still going to be around for a few more years, but tourists wanting to visit them will probably have a harder time getting to the glacier. The flip side is that icebergs in the lake are quite a spectacular sight.

Nonetheless, the systematic destruction of nature and the jeopardization of the unnatural climate stability we have enjoyed over the last couple of centuries or so reinforces the notion that we better see our favorite waterfalls (or other natural attractions for that matter) before they disappear forever.

The source of this entry came from the New Zealand Herald [read more]

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2007-05-04 08:54 - Towering Waterfall Near The Hobbit Shire

Wairere Falls is certainly one of the tallest (if not the tallest) waterfalls on the North Island of New Zealand. Situated near the towns of Te Aroha and Matamata (the latter being one of the sets for the Shire in the Lord of the Rings), this towering 153m waterfall can be viewed from a lookout, which itself is reached after a two-hour return hike crossing over several bridges and climbing most of the way. If you're real energetic, you can continue for another hour (each way) along the trail beyond the falls lookout platform to the top of the waterfall. From up here, you'll get commanding views of the lush Waikato Plains as well as dizzying views looking down at the falls. [read more]

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2007-05-05 10:15 - Hiking Sticks - Do They Really Help?

While you're out hiking, you might have noticed more and more people carrying ski-poles while hiking in snow-free terrain. Why are they carrying more equipment (not to mention the weight) while tying up their free hands? Is it all hype or are they really beneficial? Read on to find out... [read article]

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2007-05-06 09:53 - New Featured Waterfall


Kakahi Falls, New Zealand


Kakahi Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-07 07:00 - Waitakere Tears

Unspoiled, pristine, beautiful, and... only less than an hour away from Auckland? What is this place and how can it be so close to the city and still remain beautiful? Read more about why locals and tourists alike who have truly discovered this place get tears of joy... [read article]

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2007-05-08 07:22 - Native Forest in the Heart of the North Island

The North Island of New Zealand has a reputation of being more developed than its neighbor - the South Island. This is understandable because there is certainly a larger population here. Of course when you compare this island to places like the United States and most of Europe, it's still relatively quiet and idyllic. With that in mind, there's an area in the central eastern portion of the North Island containing some of the largest unspoiled tracts of native forest left in New Zealand. That area is the Te Urewera National Park with its centerpiece feature being Lake Waikaremoana.

This area is of interest to us because, of course, it has many waterfalls. For the interested waterfaller, you can take a very long unsealed road between Tuai and Murupara (which themselves are between Rotorua and Wairoa) and visit waterfalls such as the Bridal Veil Falls, Mokau Falls, and Papakorito Falls to name a few.

A trip like this will require a sense of adventure and some degree of self sufficiency since there are limited services along this road if you get into trouble.

Nonetheless, Te Urewera National Park is like going through a time warp where time moves slowly. It is certainly a worthwhile place to check out and get lost in Nature. [read more]

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2007-05-09 07:34 - New Featured Waterfall


Humboldt Falls, New Zealand


Humboldt Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-10 07:47 - Destination Wedding in New Zealand

I consider our 2004 trip to New Zealand the trip that really opened our eyes to the world and expanded our love for waterfalls and nature in a very profound manner. Of course, it was also the place where Julie and I got married as well as our honeymoon destination so the country holds a very special place in our memories and our hearts.

We'd get routinely asked why we chose New Zealand as our wedding and honeymoon location, and we have to admit that the Lord of the Rings had something to do with it. However, the natural and historical qualities of the land and the friendliness of its denizens have made this place more than just a filming location for movies.

Since I was in one of those 'just because' moods, I've provided a link to a travel blog recounting our blissful getaway wedding on 11-November 2004 in Whitianga. [read more]

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2007-05-11 06:44 - Waterfalls in the most unlikely places

The deserts of the American Southwest are one of the last places you'd expect to find a waterfall. It's usually for people who like adventuring in some hot, rugged, dry terrain doing various activities such as looking for Native American ruins, collecting natural arches and bridges, slot canyon hiking and canyoneering, and even boating in man-made lakes and reservoirs. However, here's the shocker...

There are a handful of waterfalls (and not just any waterfall - year-round waterfalls!) emerging from springs or existing deep within canyon depths. Much of the water that falls to the ground as monsoonal thunderstorms in the late summer or accumulated rain and snow in the winter seeps through the porous sandstone into underground drainages, eventually emerging as springs further downstream. This protects the water from the evaporative energy of the sun. And as a result, you get year-round streams.

Among these waterfalls are: Havasu Falls, Lower Calf Creek Falls, and even Darwin Falls.

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2007-05-12 08:04 - New Featured Waterfall


Huka Falls, New Zealand


Huka Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-13 08:17 - Mothers Day Activities

Today is Mother's Day and while most people will pack the restaurants and commemorate the Hallmark Holiday with food, gifts, and a little chat, there's an alternative that you can try with your mum - a day hike with her to a waterfall! Now granted not all mothers are able to do this, but if you can pull it off, think of the quality time you could be spending with her while enjoying the peace and tranquility of being out in nature.

This all brings me back to a day nearly three years ago when I went on a very long day hike with my mom on a Satuday in June. It was to the picturesque Waterwheel Falls and we managed to hike the full 20 miles round trip in one day! Sure the hike didn't take place on Mother's Day, but the challenge and sense of accomplishment was priceless. Check out our adventure together by clicking the next link and reading our travel blog... [read more]

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2007-05-14 07:42 - The Fight for La'au Point

The battle over La'au Point in Moloka'i is a microcosm of the ongoing battle between the forces of economics and politics versus that of conservation and culture. Why is La'au Point so important and what does this mean for the island of Moloka'i as well as the rest of the Hawaiian Islands? Read on to find out... [read article]

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2007-05-15 07:16 - Waterfalls Near Deadly Volcano

When you hear the words "deadly volcano" and "waterfall," it kind of makes you not want to see that waterfall. In New Zealand, such a combo exists, except the volcano did its damage in the late 19th century. It was then that Mt Tarawera erupted and destroyed a village and its inhabitants. Today, the Buried Village of Te Wairoa is sort of a history museum explaining Maori life prior to the eruption as well as the events of the devastation. Inside the grounds, you'll also find Te Wairoa Falls, which is a pretty 25m waterfall.

On the other side of Lake Tarawera, you'll have to go a little off the beaten path to see Tarawera Falls. This waterfall seemingly comes right out of the cliffs as it loudly makes its presence known. You'll have to work to get to this gem of a waterfall as permits must be acquired to drive onto the unsealed logging roads to get there. But once you're there, it'll all be worth it.

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2007-05-16 07:24 - New Featured Waterfall


Huka Falls, New Zealand


Huka Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-17 07:22 - Tioga Road Opened Early This Year

Currently, the Yosemite High Country snow pack is less than 50% of average. The state of California has had a pretty dry winter and spring, so while waterfalls are gushing in the Valley right now, the high country is accessible. This means that you can already start doing some hikes and backpacks in the High Country to avoid the crowds in the Valley while seeing a whole different side of the National Park.

This year's dry winter/spring reminded me of the conditions back in 2004. I recalled back then that the conditions allowed for the Tioga Road to open just in time for Memorial Day Weekend. I took this opportunity to secure permits and backpack with a couple of friends for a couple of unforgettable nights at the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp. If you're interested in reading about how that went, click the link below... [read more]

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2007-05-18 11:51 - Australia's South Finally Getting Downpours

After having been there last November, I could totally understand how bad the drought was. This past week, they have received sustained downpours from a storm that is now on its way out to the Tasman Sea. It has supplemented another storm that dumped rain on the area last month. All this is a welcome development for farmers but it is also encouraging to see for waterfall lovers. However, it's clear that they'll need much more of this in order to have any lasting recovery from the damage done from their prolonged drought. Lets keep our fingers crossed and hope the rain dances (as suggested by Myf, Jay, and the Doctor at Triple J Mornings) continue to work... [read more]

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2007-05-19 08:46 - Drought Returning in Hawaii?

After our flurry of short trips to Hawai'i, I suspected that based on our waterfall excursions and observations that they weren't getting their usual wet season rain volume. Well an article came out in the Honolulu Advertiser confirming what we had suspected.

It turns out that this was indeed an El Nino year and that usually means drier conditions on the islands (probably due to less occurences of moisture-bringing trade winds). I guess this ultimately means that should we return to Hawai'i (especially Kaua'i and the Big Island) during a more "normal" period, we ought to be seeing better waterfall displays from what we had seen this past year. Yet it's still probably too early to determine if they're in another prolonged drought (like from 1997-2004) so we'll see what happens from here on out...

To see our Hawai'i Waterfalls pages, click here.

To read more about the issue, see the Honolulu Advertiser article below: [read more]

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2007-05-20 09:09 - New Featured Waterfall


Hunua Falls, New Zealand


Hunua Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-21 07:29 - Waterfalls in Mordor?

Mordor is the mythical land of evil, orcs, darkness, death, and forbidding terrain. Its on-screen persona would be the last place you'd expect to find waterfalls. But like an actress who can be both irresistible and frightening in the movies just with creative applications of makeup and props, Tongariro National Park can also play the role of Mordor as well as tourist attraction (with its waterfalls and colorful terrain) in the same way. Read more to find out why... [read article]

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2007-05-22 07:39 - A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls in Whitcoulls

Can't wait for your copy of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls (Story Nature Press)? If you're in New Zealand, you can now find it in the country's major book retailer Whitcoulls. You can also buy the book online through Whitcoulls by visiting their website by clicking the follow-up link or typing http://www.whitcoulls.co.nz/b2c/init.do and doing a search for "New Zealand Waterfalls" on their search box. [read more]

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2007-05-23 07:39 - New Featured Waterfall


Hunua Falls, New Zealand


Hunua Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-24 07:39 - FAA Ordering New Rules for Air Tours in Hawai'i

I ran across another pair of articles from the Honolulu Advertiser talking about what happened on that fateful Bali Hai Helicopter Crash in 2004 and what they're doing about it. Of course, helicopter safety remains fresh in my mind after the pair of crashes on Kaua'i in a span of three days (involving HeliUSA and Inter-Island) this past March.

Really what the rules changes boils down to are some common sense directives like more frequent mandatory pilot breaks, a cap on the number of flights per day, and more manpower devoted to air tour safety. I did notice in the article the rate of accidents versus the total number of flights and it's clear there's a low likelihood of getting in an accident. However, no one wants to be the unlucky ones when the unthinkable happens.

You can read about the latest findings from the Bali Hai 2004 Crash here.

Click the following link for more on the FAA Rules changes and more. [read more]

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2007-05-25 07:26 - Waterfall Close to Waitomo Caves

On the North Island of New Zealand, one of the most popular tourist attractions must be the Waitomo Caves. This is a series of caverns full of glow worms and underground rivers. These worms light up the darkness like the starry night sky and is certainly worth a look (though glow worms also occur in the South Island as well as parts of the coastal forests in Victoria, Australia.

Nonetheless, if you're self driving, you can continue westbound from the Waitomo Caves and eventually end up at the beautiful Marokopa Falls. This classical rectangular waterfall flows year-round and can be seen from several vantage points. Also along the way are other side attractions such as the impressive Mangapohue Natural Bridge as well as the Piripiri Cave. You can spot fossils of ancient sea life near the Mangapohue Natural Bridge.
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2007-05-26 08:12 - New Featured Waterfall


Rerekawau (Kaiate) Falls, New Zealand


Rerekawau (Kaiate) Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-27 07:48 - Norwegian Waterfalls

With the days of summer drawing near, the days continue to get longer, weather becomes increasingly mild, and snow releases its lock on water. Well, at least that's happening in Norway.

And with these events taking place, you can bet that in a mountainous country full of fjords, lakes, rivers, and valleys, there are also waterfalls. And not just any waterfalls, but towering behemoths that make any Yosemite waterfall look small. The country is so full of waterfalls, that its becomes hard to figure out which ones you'll want to stop for and which ones to skip.

Click on the following link to see the tremendous (and by no means complete) sampling of waterfalls in this most beautiful land... [read more]

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2007-05-28 09:03 - Memorial Day Waterfall Memories

Two years ago, I went with my parents to Sequoia National Park and Sequoia National Forest for the Memorial Day Weekend. We knew Yosemite Valley probably wouldn't be a wise place to go during that time since it was perhaps their busiest weekend of the year. Plus, the record rains we had received that year (basically the Pacific Northwest's rains) meant there was also flooding problems as the Merced River drainage was swelling with the excess snowmelt.

And so my parents and I first went into Kings Canyon National Park where we visited Grizzly Falls as well as the Sheep Creek Cascade.

Later into the trip, we did a long hike out to Marble Falls and then spent the afternoon trying to keep marmots from chewing radiator hoses in Mineral King Valley. It was at the end of the day while I was showering in Tulare that I noticed a tick lodged deep within my thigh! It was pretty grotesque and I was fortunate not to have contracted any diseases.

The rest of the trip was spent in the Sequoia National Forest, visiting such waterfalls as Peppermint Creek Falls, Nobe Young Falls, and South Creek Falls among others.

All in all, it was quite a memorable trip out with the parents.

You can read the entire travel blog of this weekend along with some pictures in the following link. [read more]

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2007-05-29 07:34 - New Featured Waterfall


Rerekawau (Kaiate) Falls, New Zealand


Rerekawau (Kaiate) Falls, New Zealand

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2007-05-30 07:27 - Story Nature Press to be at the 2007 BEA in NYC

Tomorrow, Story Nature Press (publisher of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls) will attend the 2007 Book Expo of America (BEA) in New York. It will be a good opportunity to meet face-to-face with other people in the book industry while making more of them aware of the waterfall-themed guidebooks we're producing. We expect it to be a huge learning experience and perhaps some new ideas will come forth regarding additional books to publish.

I expect internet access to be limited while we're there so there may not be the usual daily updates to the World of Waterfalls Blog. This will resume for sure on Monday, but we'll keep you posted if we get lucky with a suitable internet connection this weekend.

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2007-05-31 18:26 - The City That Never Sleeps

Neither Julie nor I have been to New York (at least not when we could remember in Julie's case) so we were eager to see some of the sights in the small amount of time we had left this evening before attending BEA tomorrow morning.

We ended up walking down 5th Ave from 45th all the way to 23rd to try out the Shake Shack - passing by the Empire State Building along the way. Julie did her research and determined this was one of the places we had to try for burgers. The line just to place the order was a little over an hour so this had better have been the best burgers ever to justify the wait.

Well it turned out that the Shroom Burger was surprisingly good - thanks to Julie's cousin's recommendation and we tried the Double Shack which was quite juicy. Still, it didn't have anything on the juicy burger we had at Coral Bay, Western Australia, but I suppose it was one of the better ones we've had in the States. But I don't think it was worth waiting an hour for.

Later in the evening, we found out our hotel was only 5 minutes away from Times Square so naturally, we got to see it for the first time.

And when we laid eyes on the two or three-block area, we were bombarded by a mass of humanity and taxi cabs running beneath the bright lights coming from buildings surrounding the area. The energy of the place was certainly beyond anything we've seen before. Even though we're very much into nature, I have to admit that this bustling scene was something to behold. It's almost like organized chaos having its own sense of order and beauty.

Anyways, it's midnight now and we're still on LA time. We'll have to somehow force ourselves to sleep so we can have some energy for BEA in the morning...

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