Bridal Veil Falls has some hidden history
by Roger Martyn
My Grandfather and in turn my father farmed land that backs onto the reserve that the Bridal Veil Falls is situated, the same farm that I was brought up on. My father related the following story to me when I was a just boy, some 40 years ago.
In pre-European times, a Maori warrior from a tribe on the coast west of the falls travelled inland to the Waikato and stole himself a bride from an inland tribe. Naturally, the stolen bride's tribe were upset, and gave chase.
NB: in-pre European times, there were distinct and well known trails that the Maori used to transverse the land, and one such trail ran nearby these falls. On the way back, the coastal warrior and his new bride hid in a cave that is situated at the foot of the Bridal Veil Falls, just where the water hits the pool surface.
I can vouch that this cave in fact exists.
The warrior and his bride hid in this cave, the presence of which was unknown to the pursuing warriors. The warrior and his new bride were able to make good their escape and we must assume, lived happily ever after!
As a boy, I used to go eeling in the pool at the base of the falls. Naturally, eels cannot scale these falls, so they get stuck there, and so they grow bigger and bigger turning into real old man monsters. I caught eels there as thick as my leg! Probably and hopefully, this is a totally illegal activity now, but they were different times then.