VII. Hunua Falls

Down to the southeast of Auckland, about 50km away, you can find the Hunua Ranges. They are hilly ranges with forests and many streams, so a perfect location to build dams that work as water supply reservoirs. There are 5 of them and supply around 70% of Auckland’s potable water. I drove there this morning and went for a 4 hour run around a so called Cosseys Track. It is a circular track that starts at the car park next to the falls, takes you up to one of the reservoirs and then back to the falls again.

This is the land of Silver Ferns. You can see them as a national icon in many New Zealand items, the most notorious being the All Blacks rugby shirt. For anyone that doesn’t know, silver ferns are native to New Zealand, have huge 2m leaves and can grop up to 10 metres in height. The “silver” comes from the leafs’ white-silvery underside. When they unfold, the do so in a shaped called koru, which you can see for example in Air New Zealands logo. The shape of a koru also matches the fibonacci sequence.

The track I went winding steeply up more than 300 wooden steps. I started counting late and got tired at around 200 so… An hour and a half later I got to the dam, and was feeling exhausted.

Truly. Exhausted. But what better place to rest and have lunch??

Steps, steps, more steps, never ending steps… And the underside of a silver fern.

This is a kauri groove. Because of their special nature, kauris tend to grow together instead of spread out evenly across the forest. The biggest trees of this area were cut down for timber at the begging of the 20th century; but these are surely huge for my standards. Kauris are native to New Zealand and can grow up to 50 metres high, 7 metres wide in diameter and live for over 1000 years. Sequoia kind of stuff…

Apparently there is this bacteria that is killing kauri trees. I am not sure people take it seriously, but along the track there are several sites such as this one that ask you to disinfect your shoes with spray guns and rub the mud off. I suppose tourists don’t take much notice, but at least I did spend a couple of minutes doing it myself.

After 4 hours of track I was back at the falls. They are just beautiful. This was of course where I had my second picnic of the day 🙂

PD. Yesterday I was at Mark and Sandy’s and Sara spent some time showing us old photo albums she made with Nana. There is a picture there of her right next to a waterfall some 75 years ago. Well, without even knowing, it happens to be the same picture I took here!!!!

PD2. Family reunion to celebrate Elisha’s birthday. Great dinner, but better company, with some of the cousins getting together for the first time after 21 years!!




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