Haruru Falls was a short stopover that was essentially our waterfalling excuse to explore the Bay of Islands at Paihia. The waterfall spanned the Waitangi River so it was much wider (maybe 15m) than it was tall (perhaps 5m). I’ve seen in the literature that people often kayak right up to the falls but we didn’t see any kayaks during our visit in November 2004. From the car park, Julie and I took a short five-minute walk to get right up to the brink of the falls (as shown at the top of this page).
We noticed that there was the option of walking the 6km (said to take 2.5 hours) track skirting the north end of the Waitangi Estuary to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds. Even though you could drive to the historical site, the walk seemed to provide a bit of a tranquil nature experience before arriving at the hallowed grounds where modern day New Zealand essentially got started. Augmenting the waterfall experience, Julie and I also did the Hole-in-the-Rock jet boat tour which launched from wharf at Paihia and went through the impressive sea arch while also exploring a couple of caves, another natural arch, the lighthouse at Cape Brett, and even a blowhole!
From Paihia, we went 1km north on Marsden Rd to its junction with the Puketona Rd (now Black Bridge Rd SH11). We turned left onto Puketona Rd and drove for about 3.6km, then we turned right onto Haruru Falls Rd. The gravel car park was immediately after the bridge over the Waitangi River.
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