Okere Falls hike

What to do on New Year’s Day in Rotorua? Nature walks!

We took our time getting up in the morning, enjoying the leisurely pace of holiday life (and in some cases recovering from jet lag). We had no concrete plans, but the weather was sunny and warm, and we saw no reason to stay indoors longer than we needed to. So we set out to find a waterfall that Kevin had read about.

We got to the trailhead after only a couple of turn-arounds . . .

. . . and set off down the path into a shady wood that felt wonderfully exotic and a tad prehistoric, what with its giant ferns.

Before too long we found the river and its rapids — and the many intrepid rafters and kayakers who were playing in the rough waters. It looked like so much fun! We all regretted not wearing our swimsuits and watershoes so that we could get in, too.

Following the path upstream, we discovered the waterfall. The roaring froth tumbled into a lovely pool surrounded by tall trees and ferns, and occasionally spit out rafts full of laughing people.

Continuing our walk back to the trailhead, the kids noticed the many hanging vines and thought they looked like the sort of vine that Tarzan might swing on. Karl tried one, to see if it would support the weight of a human — it did! — so Afton gave it a go herself.

Next time I go to New Zealand, I’m definitely going to plan for some whitewater rafting so that I can jet down a waterfall, too. 🙂

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