Mokoroa Falls & Muriwai Beach

In which Miles visits the falls, thinks better of numerous slippery stream crossings, and instead pays a short visit to Muriwai Beach.

To view the full gallery of 22 pictures, click here.

Mokoroa Falls is in Goldie Bush Scenic Reserve. I parked at the end of Horseman Road. From there it’s just a 30 minute walk to the falls.

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The DOC site offers maps and more information.

I like a good loop, and Mokoroa Stream Track meets Goldie Bush Walkway, which leads back to Horseman Road. But it had been raining a lot lately, and I chose to heed the warning I read in this sign. I later read online that these stairs lead to the area at the foot of the falls, which I would have enjoyed visiting.  One more good reason to return!  Instead, I walked some ways down the Goldie Bush Walkway, then returned to Horseman Road, and drove to Muriwai Beach.

Fork in the road
Fork in the road

Muriwai Beach is another Auckland west coast beach, just north of Bethell’s Beach.  Somehow it always seems a bit less dark than west coast beaches like Phia or Karikari, but it does feature rough dangerous waters, long expanses of black sand, and rugged cliffs and shoreline.

Muriwai Beach
Muriwai Beach

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Muriwai is home to a large gannet colony.  About 1,200 pairs of gannets nest here from August to March each year.  Many are close enough to the viewing platforms for great viewing.  Others nest on a couple of mesa-like islands just off shore.  You can see one of these in the photo below.  The young grow up here until they can fly.  Since they launch by jumping from the cliffs, they have to get it right the first time.  They then fly across the Tasman Sea to Australia.  They return here to nest a few years later.  I’m not sure whether the parents make the trip again with the young, but there were few if any gannets here on my latest visit.  Read more about the gannet colony on the newzealand.com site.

Muriwai gannet colony,  empty for the winter
Muriwai gannet colony, empty for the winter

Muriwai Beach and the surrounding area is impressive, and deserves further exploration.  The Te Henga Walkway is about 4 hours each way, but I decided that I would walk at least part of it soon.

To view the full gallery of 22 pictures, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

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