Every so often you find yourself driving a scenic road through a ‘scape with a land-cache that’s seriously worth stopping for.
The asphalt artery connecting (Mount) Tongariro’s ‘National Park’ to (anō, Mount) Ruapehu’s ‘Whakapapa Village’ is the most recent, for me.
December’s final few days signified the seizure of some much-needed down-time among the many “mīharo” lava gorges and gouges typifying our magnificently mountainous ‘Central Plateau’ — the whole place a literal, living, breathing historical record of the occasional volatility of our Earth Māmā, ‘Papatūānuku’.
One beautiful by-product of this type of unhindered, free-flowing down-time is the sense of adventure that often comes-with, tending to lend us mere mortals more towards synchronising our own personal pulse with “Papa”, and her many earthly layers.
She’s so there, if you listen.
Stopping Bothering to listen — and look — is exactly what led this Māori to Tawhai Falls, a 20-minute saunter and “stone’s throw” from the road along Whakapapa’s State Highway 48.
Follow the thunder to where the rere (‘flow’) teems over the top of an ancient lava flow, and you’re met with this deistic scene (^).
Simply descend further for a deeper connection, and a closer look (*some boulder-hopping is required).
The sheer volume of “mozzies” means you’ll most likely only stay for as long as you can tolerate the perpetual buzz. Of course, a decent dose of repellent will go a long way towards adding to the “natural buzz”, in more meditative terms.
Otherwise, simply make a hard, gutsy left when prompted shortly after the Mounds Walk, and soak…