Gina and I set off to see Waihi Falls in the winter after there had been a few days of heavy rain. We headed to Dannevirke and then turned right into Weber Road. Click here for directions.
Some of the road is quite winding and narrow in places and the last few kilometres are gravel. Along the way we had to stop and let a mob of sheep go by. Couldn’t resist taking a photo of them.
When we arrived at the falls, we found ample car parking, as well as a picnic area. Due to the rain the pathway down to the falls was slippery underfoot in places. When we arrived at the bottom and made our way to the water’s edge of the grassed area. I would say up to 2 metres back from there was really wet, due to the mist created by the volume of water, tumbling down over the falls.
It was not safe to be too near the edge of the grassed area because the water made it very soggy.
Waihi Falls are a sight to see though, the roar of the water tumbling over the falls and the misty water rising as it hits the river below.
We visited the Falls again on 26/5/17, the idea was to grab the sunset but the clouds had other ideas. When one door closes another opens and the Falls looked stunning in BW.
The Tararua District stretches from Norsewood in the north to Eketahuna in the south and along with many other districts, makes up the greater Manawatu -Wanganui Region.
I personally believe the Tararua District is not promoted as well as it could be. If you want tourists to stop and stay a while and explore the district, they need to know, what is out there.
There are many places for tourists and locals alike, to visit. Besides the more well known places, such as the Tui Bewery or Te Apiti Wind Farm.
So with that in mind, I have created this page, with a list of places people can visit, in the Tararua District. This page is a work in progress and will continue grow, as we seek out more places to visit.
Only places Gina and I have personally visited will be listed on this page.
Gina and I decided it was time to go to the beach again so we decided to head out to Akitio and checkout the beach and surrounding area.
So on a chilly Wednesday morning in May (2015) we hopped in the car and believe it or not, we were on the road by 9am. We headed to Dannevike and stopped in at Subway for a coffee and a bite to eat.
We then headed down to Millar Street (There is a sign for Akitio, Herberville, Pongaroa) and continued on Weber Road. We then turned left into River Road and followed the road across the bridge that goes over the Akitio river and on to the coast road. Then along to the Akitio Esplanade, where we parked the car. There are quite a few houses along the esplanade, many are holiday homes but there are a few people who live there permanently. There is also a shop and public facilities. It took us approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there from Woodville.
It was a bit brisk and overcast when we got out of the car, so out came the scarfs, woolly hats and gloves. We made our way onto the beach and what caught my eye were the posts firmly planted in the sand. They looked like sentries watching over the beach. Which of course we had to take photos of and the seagull added a nice touch, perched on top, of its lofty lookout.
The tide was out so we walked along the beach, the reef has some amazing rock formations and the sea water left behind, created some interesting looking rock pools. We then headed back up to where the Akitio river meets the sea, passing quite a bit of driftwood along the way. We were also surprised by how many Kingfishers were flying around. It’s the most we have seen in a very long time.
The following week, we visited a very different Akitio beach, a depression had gone through the night before, when we arrived the Akitio river seemed to have doubled in size as we drove over the bridge. There was no beach, the waves tossed around the driftwood as if it were paper mache. In places the waves were coming up over the grass verge. So with the rain coming down we parked the car, donned on our wet gear, grabbed the cameras and off we went.
As we stood on top of the grassed area where normally the beach would be, all we could see were waves, its was an amazing sight to see the “power of the ocean” easy to get taken by a wave, if you don’t have your wits about you.
By the afternoon the sea had calmed a bit, the beach was visible but we still couldn’t walk on it because every so often a wave would come right in.
Although, with the weather changing we saw, Shags, Gulls a Rook, Kingfishers and quite a few Fantails, darting from one piece of driftwood to another.
Gina and I have visited Dannevirke’s Lower Domain which is part of the Dannevirke Domain on Christian Street, a few times.
It is a great place to go, suitable for all ages and is reasonably wheelchair friendly. As we hadn’t been there for a while we decided to head off there, again today.
The Upper Domain has a children’s playground, gardens and facilities, while the Lower Domain is park like and has Ponds, Ducks and other birds, Deer and a large aviary, plus facilities as well.
It took us about 25 minutes to get there, so it would take about 50 minutes from Palmerston North.
Of course we had to stop for our coffee fix and to grab some lunch, so we headed to Subway, the food is always good and their customer service is excellent.
On arriving at the Domain, (there is plenty of parking) we were greeted by many friendly ducks and geese. I think they were more interested in seeing if we had any food, to be honest.
The domain is a very peaceful place, you could easily spend a lot of time there. There are picnic tables dotted around the domain, plus walks you can do. Gina and I walked down and around to the lower pond, on the way we saw the deer and more ducks when we arrived.
We had a wander around and them headed back via the bridge, which took us back up to the upper pond and aviary.
The domain is a great place to visit anytime of the year, it is very well maintained and is a credit to the town. Pity there isn’t more information and promotion of it, both on and offline.
Dannevirke, also has a very good Information Centre, plus a blog, which can be viewed here.
After spending a few hours at the domain, we headed home.
Gina and I decided to visit Te Angi Angi Marine Reserve in Central Hawkes Bay. The reserve stretches from Blackhead to Aramoana beaches. All marine life within the reserve area is protected.
We intended to leave early but we didn’t leave Woodville until 8.30am. We stopped in at Subway in Dannevirke to grab some lunch for the trip, the food is always good and the staff are very friendly, great customer service.
We decided to head to Blackhead beach via the Waipukurau route it was an easy trip, with great scenary along the way. We didn’t get lost once, the route is very well sign posted, all the way out to Blackhead Beach.
For directions and more information click on Central Hawke’s Bay, District Council, Te Angi Angi Marine Reserve link above.
Even though it was a bit chilly, blue skies greeted us on our arrival at Blackhead beach. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the rock platform as it is only exposed at low tide but never the less there is always something new to see and experience when you visit a place for the first time.
Blackhead beach has a camping ground and facilities only a stones throw from the beach. Ideal get away, for a few days.
As we walked up the beach, we noticed it was receding fast because the tide was coming in, the waves got bigger and the tide came in quite fast.
It would be easy if you didn’t have your wits about you, to get cut off, the only way to get off the beach, depending of course where you are, is to scramble up to the tree line. Which isn’t as bad as it sounds because its more or less right on the beach.
We got some great photos though, so it was worth it, the weather changed quite quickly, from blue skies to very cloudy and grey.
Seeing as we couldn’t go any further we decided to head off to Pourerere Beach, we went back the way we came and followed the signs. Didn’t take us long to get there. The weather followed us, we had a bit of blue sky then it clouded over and got quite cool and breezy.
Pourerere is similar to Blackhead, large expanse of beach and ocean as far as the eye can see. As with both beaches we found shells and seaweed washed up on the beach, some of which we had never seen before. There has been a lot of coastal planting along parts of the beach and signs have been erected telling people to use the designated pathways.
We managed to get a reasonable walk along the beach before the tide came in, once again. We also saw some Pied stilts, Shags and Gulls if the tide had been out we would have seen many more species of birds.
I imagine during the summer months both beaches and the reserve are a big draw card for tourists and locals alike.
Although, Gina and I visit beaches in winter and summer because there is always something different see and do.
After we had wandered around for a while, we decided it was time to head for home. On the way back to Woodville, we looked across at the ranges, which were still covered in snow and saw a spectacular light show, as the suns rays streamed down through the clouds and lit up the hills. Of course we had to find a spot to pull over and take photos. A great end, to another great day out.
I originally wrote this post back in 2015, when I still had a house, I traded it for a caravan and a van, so now I get to spend more time at Herbertville.
What can I say about Herbertville, well it is one of my most favourite places to visit. Gina & I have been there a number of times, we live in Woodville so it isn’t too far for us to travel. Woodville to Dannevirke takes about 25 minutes and then about another 60 minutes to Herbertville.
It usually takes us longer because we have to stop for our coffee fix and if we have been really slack and haven’t made any lunch, it’s a quick stop at subway, as well.
Again Herbertville isn’t easy to find online unless you know what you are looking for. So a quick stop at the Dannevirke Information Centre wouldn’t go a miss. nor would a map.
Herbertville is a small settlement, they have a camping ground, so if you decide to go for a day trip or longer, you need to take food etc. There is a long expanse of beach and if you feel like a walk up the beach to Cape Turnagain and the Fur seal colony, it will take you about 45 minutes.
If you visit at low tide, you will see the remnants of an old wool shed that used to sit on the rocks. Farmers used to bring the wool to the shed then it was shipped by boats, out to awaiting ships.
The Colony is a winter haul out, so the number of Fur seals increase quite a lot during the winter months. Although there are still a few around in summer. Breeding season takes place between mid November to mid January so the males maybe a bit more aggressive.
A few things to remember about fur seals, don’t be fooled they can move quite quickly on dry land, Always give them the right of way, if you block their path to the sea, they will not be amused. Don’t get too close and watch out for them under bushes and in the dunes. If you have a dog and decide to take it with you on your day trip, it must be leashed and under control.
Oh, I forgot to mention, fur seals do bite.
The scenery at Herbertville is amazing, it’s a very peaceful place, if you are lucky you will see a number of different bird species there. I have to say the funniest to watch are the oystercatchers.
I find, it is very easy to spend the day at Herbertville, the hours go by too quickly and all too soon its time to go home. a good day out for anyone who loves the beach.
Photos copyright @ Brightchic Photography 2019
Day Trips for the uninspired. Things to see and do in and around the Manawatu, Tararua, Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Regions of New Zealand