Into Each Heart Some Water Falls

Okere Falls on North Island, NZ

A little north of Rotorua Lake is this Scenic Reserve with a series of cascades on the Kaituna River: Okere, Tutea and Trout Pool Falls. There is a well kept bushwalk along the river. This stretch of the river is frequently used by whitewater aficionados with rafts, kayaks and the like. When we did our walk, there were a lot of schoolkids coming back from a rafting adventure, while kayakers were in the water near the Okere Falls.

Okere Falls scenic reserve Okere walks tracks map

A sacred river for the Māori

sacred river
Okere means 'the place of drifting' in the Māori language. The Kaituna River (something like Eel River) is sacred for the local Ngāti Pikiao people who remain guardians of the area. In many natural places, the Māori have regained their birth rights as guardians in recent years.

Okere Falls

Okere Falls in the forest Okere Falls white water on the way to the next falls tossing and turning rapids on the Kaituna

Tutea Falls

Tutea falls splashing water hurrying on thumbs up agitation frontal view white fury light and shade rapids on the way quieter surroundings

Fun in the water

Touché at the small falls kayaker

Power plant on the Okere

In 1901 a turbine was installed on the Okere Falls that brought electricity to the city of Rotorua, the fourth town in NZ to get electrical power. A second turbine was installed some years later. It doubled the power station's capacity to 200 kilowatts! The hydro-electric plant was abandoned in 1936. The old dynamo house is below, near the falls, one of the turbines is displayed at the head of the trail.

turbine on display turbine and dynamo house
All photos, movies, and texts (except those signed by Touché Guimarães) were made/written by Guy Voets, and everything is published under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license (attribution, non-commercial, share-alike).

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