Hunua Falls

In which Miles visits Hunua Falls and walks in the Hunua Ranges.

To view the full gallery of 11 photos on imgur, click here.

To visit the Auckland Council page for Hunua Falls, click here.

Hunua Falls is the only place of which I’ve ever lost all of my photos.  I don’t know how it happened.  I looked for them one day and couldn’t find them (this was in 2014).  They weren’t in my backups.  They were nowhere to be found.  Fortunately this didn’t happen again in 2015.

Hunua Falls is easily accessible, with a car park and restrooms nearby.  There is a bridge right next to the car park, and you can see the falls from the bridge.

Hunua Falls, view from the bridge, right next to the car park
Hunua Falls, view from the bridge, right next to the car park

The large pool below the falls is cold, but great for swimming on a hot day.  This visit did not occur on a hot day, and no one was swimming.

Hunua Falls
Hunua Falls

You can take short hikes to a couple of different lookouts above the falls.

View from one of the lookouts
View from one of the lookouts

The Cossey – Massey Loop walk ascends from the falls area to the Cossey Dam and reservoir, circles it, and then returns to the falls.

Misdirection

Follow the arrows to the left, and you’ll arrive at the car park in 5 to 10 minutes. Follow the arrows to the right, and you’ll ascend to Cosseys Dam and Reservoir, circle it, and descend back to this spot in about 3 hours, and then you can follow the arrows to the left to the car park.

Directions to the car park
Directions to the car park

I read Australia: For Tourists! by Dagny Taggart for some info on traveling that country.  The book mentions several times that getting lost is part of the fun in Australia.  I don’t know the country well, and never experienced this visiting Sydney and Brisbane.  But this phrase can be applied easily to New Zealand.  I wonder if the real meaning isn’t “make the best of it”.  The sign above is my very favorite example.  So far.

Cosseys Dam and Cosseys Reservoir

We started the climb up to Cosseys Dam, but we weren’t well prepared – we had planned to just visit the falls, and hadn’t brought water or our lunches – and I had driven up to the dam in 2014, so we went back and did that.

Cosseys Dam and Reservoir
Cosseys Dam and Reservoir

We walked around the reservoir up to the first overlook.

Lookout over the reservoir
Lookout over the reservoir

While we were enjoying the view, a biplane appeared and flew around the reservoir.

Biplane over the reservoir
Biplane over the reservoir
Biplane over the reservoir
Biplane over the reservoir

This is at least the second old plane that I’ve seen flying around park areas of New Zealand.

Someone told me that the air force used to train pilots on these old planes.  He said that the air force has no planes at all now, just helicopters, which they use mostly to assist with various emergencies, such as natural disasters in the South Pacific, or dropping hay to livestock after heavy south island snows.  Note that I haven’t researched or confirmed any of this.

In August and September 2015, a 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) program) was carried out in the Hunua Ranges area. Hunua Falls was excluded, however visitors were warned about taking certain precautions if hiking in the Hunua Ranges.  I guessed that maybe this kind of plane was used for spraying – but I have not confirmed that in any way.  If I recall correctly this is done to deal with certain invasive species, such as the possum – but again, I have not researched or confirmed this.

Hunua Ranges Regional Park is one of the larger in Auckland, and offers many more tracks to explore.

To view the full gallery of 11 photos on imgur, click here.

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