After our half day outing to Opua we felt ready to take on something a bit more challenging, and prepared to hit the track North. Packing that morning felt very different to previous days, as we were packing for real this time – everything needed to be well waterproofed, any luxuries were left behind and the bags were packed, emptied and repacked several times until we were each satisfied with how they felt on.
Our destination that day was Haruru Falls, influenced more by the spectacular campsite we knew was right in front of waterfall than the short distance to get there (only about 6ks).
As we left the hotel, we noticed that one of Ann’s trekking poles couldn’t be lengthened, so after a few steps we had a 15min stop while Daniel repaired it using the duct tape we keep strapped to our poles. When storing the tape on our poles, Daniel had been insisting on how useful the tape would prove, but even he hadn’t expected its first use to be within 100m of the start of the first hike!
We had a pleasant walk to the waterfalls, and when we checked in at the campsite we were greeted by an Irish lady who immediately recognised myself and Ann’s Irish accents and we had a very warm welcome from her. Ann’s equipment dramas continued at the campsite – after she put up the inner of her tent, she popped over to check-out our tent, and turned around just in time to see her tent blowing away, flipping across the grass and heading for the edge of the river. She shrieked and dashed after it, jumping off the riverbank and wading out to reach it before the current took it. Whew! Although it (and her boots!) were soaked, at least she still had her tent (her brother’s tent actually, so she was doubly pleased to have rescued it!). A fine lesson for all of us about NZ’s gusty wind, and it wasn’t long before the tent dried in the afternoon sunshine.
Overall we were absolutely blessed with good weather while at the falls, and enjoyed our first NZ camping experience. The campsite had an outside shelter for cooking, an indoor kitchen and washrooms with hot showers! The showers in particular were a pleasure as the evening and early morning temperatures were around 5 degrees. We whiled away the afternoon exploring the falls, and combing the riverside beach for dead wood (under the guidance of Chief Fire Officer Daniel) after which we were rewarded with a delicious wood stove cooked lentil stew. All in all a great day!
Haruru falls and camping site