A great day and a great a walk from Russell
Like so many good things, it begins and ends in Russell! We just enjoyed a superb afternoon, starting with the ever-charming ferry ride across the bay from Russell to Paihia. A lovely stroll around the waterfront took us to the excellent Waikokopu Cafe for lunch. The cafe has great food and a lovely setting in the grounds of the Waitangi Treaty House. Visiting the Treaty Grounds is thoroughly recommended but we’ve had that pleasure previously, so we headed off on the Haruru Falls walking track. It is an easy 1.5 hrs each way and we completely recommend it. We’re sorry we forgot to grab our camera as we left but I’ve snaffled a couple of pics from elsewhere. The walk takes you through classic Northland bush, with some fabulous tree ferns and spectacular pururi trees. The boardwalk through the mangroves is the best we’ve found in Northland so far and then the track skirts the edge of the Waitangi river for the last 2 km’s. This is lovely, with beautiful views across the water and a chance to get up close to a couple of pohutukawa trees which are home to nesting shags – very cute and squawky! A roar ahead lets you know you’ve reached the falls themselves. Not quite Vic Falls but a suitable endpoint nonetheless! We’d recommend returning back on the same track, rather than taking the busy road with no footpath. The track is so pretty and varied that it works well to just walk it in reverse. This also gives you the chance to drop back into Waikokopu Cafe for a scoop or two of Kapiti ice cream – their Dark Chocolate, Raspberry & Chilli is our current #1! This will set you up for the walk back to the ferry and a soft landing at one of our wonderful waterfront watering holes to enjoy the bay bathed in the last of the afternoon sun.