We woke up at the Department of Conservation (DOC) Whangaruru North campground still covered in a blanket of fog. After taking our first outdoor, and very cold, showers of the trip we hit the road in search of the sun. We arrived in the tourist town of Pahia (pie-hee-ah) just in time to catch a few sun rays dancing on the sand, so we pulled out the chairs and parked it on the beach for a few hours.
Pahia is the gateway to the Bay of Islands, so it was teeming with tourists. In search of a more obscure and invigorating adventure we drove north to Rainbow Falls. A waterfall with a cave was just what we needed; the perfect place to test our WOLOtude.
We took the short 10-minute walk down to the pool and admired the falls from a distance; however, we couldn’t resist climbing behind the curtain of water to explore the mossy cavern. We debated for a few minutes as to whether it was safe, considering the rain from the previous day had made it quite the gushing waterfall. After watching a few adventurous souls successfully make it behind the falls, we decided that we had to WOLO on this one; luckily, we lived to tell the story (it really wasn’t THAT dangerous)!
We rock-hopped, we scurried, we crawled, we left our shoes in a “safe'”place, and we got soaked as we tried to navigate our way along the moss-covered, and very slippery, rocks at the base of the falls. We stood behind the 27 meter (89 feet) waterfall, in a cavern big enough to play catch, with a near-defeaning wall of water flowing down in front of us. Our WOLOmeters were spiking off the charts!
With our thirst for adventure quenched, we set off for our first free camping spot of the trip: Forest Pools. We enjoyed the classic camp meal of pork-and-beans and a few glasses of wine along the Waipapa River before turning in. Next stop: Mahinepua Peninsular Tramp.
– Go. Change your state of mind.