The Waitakere Ranges are a veritable treasure trove for the casual (or intrepid!) explorer. In addition to picturesque hills, nice forests, and beautiful beaches, the Waitakeres boast a decent network of rivers. And when you combine rivers and hills, you get waterfalls!
I discovered Kitekite Falls a while back while searching for places to visit, but for whatever reason the timing kept not being right. Either the weather was poor, I had other commitments preventing me from spending the time to drive out so far West, or I needed to do some maintenance on my car which made it less than desirable to tackle the rather demanding mountain roads. But no longer!
The trail to the falls is an easy one. Wide, well-packed dirt with little incline to incur erosion. This is the sort of trail even the less fit (such as myself) can walk all day without breaking a sweat.
The trail occasionally abuts a stream which is, in typical New Zealand fashion, clear, peaceful, and slightly emerald-tinted. And no getting your feet wet on fords; all the crossings I saw were bridged. For being pretty far out from civilization, this is a really first-rate trail. I guess the Piha area in general is pretty tourist-centric.
The track to Kitekite is part of a larger trail network around the Piha area covering several kms. You could hike all day and not cover it all!
As we doddle along, there are some fantastic views of the Waitakere Ranges.
And then, all of a sudden, there they are! Kitekite falls!
These falls are multi-stage, and I think they’re the tallest falls I’ve seen in New Zealand (taller than Whangarei or Tongariro).
A very short detour down some stairs will take you down to the base of the falls.
And perhaps I wasn’t entirely accurate earlier when I said all the crossings had bridges. I’m not sure these two small logs really count! But crossing was still simplicity itself even for someone with as poor balance as me, so no hardship there.
Definitely worth it. Look at the colors in that pool! I love this photo! It looks like something out of a landscape book!
There’s a few places near the falls where the more adventurous explorer can climb around and maybe even get some decent shots :)
But sadly all good things must come to an end, so it’s back across the gangplank and up the stairs.
So that’s Kitekite Falls! Definitely some of the most amazing falls I’ve seen on the North Island. So pretty!
Next week we’ll head down to Piha Beach and see the sights there. See you soon!