Kerikeri Rotarians and Vision Kerikeri supporters have been out in force to build bridges and clear a walking track from Pa Road to above the Wairoa Stream waterfall, re-opening public access to this previously inaccessible spot.
The two organisations hope to have the track completed by the end of 2018. Funding for a bridge spanning the stream downstream of the waterfall has raised by Rotary and a kind donation by the
The waterfall was readily accessible until about 60 years ago when much of what is now the Kerikeri town centre comprised shelter belts and orchards. There was a well-known swimming hole below the waterfall and it was almost the town’s only recreation area.
A track alongside the stream was used by orchard workers to get to Darwin Road, as mentioned in Fiona Kidman’s book ‘At the End of Darwin Road’.
Part of the track was an historic route used by Maori and also by British troops on the way to the Ohaewai battlefield in 1845.
The route which was overgrown until early 2015, and the waterfall, which is nearly as high as Rainbow Falls, was a hidden and largely-forgotten treasure. Until recently there has not been any access across private land so the trail restoration project has lain dormant since it was presented to the Community Board in 2003.
Now, with a local family granting public access across about 80m of their property, the situation has changed.
The volunteers have now completed the section upstream from Alderton Park, or the stone Store carpark area, built two mini footbridges and 2 large bridges. Rotarians are building a 5th bridge on the track and will complete the one on the other side of Cobham Road in the spring
The distance between Alderton Park and the foot of the waterfall is about 1.5km .
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