Bush Ambience …& Cracking Thunder 😳

Summer walk wish list – Whataroa Falls – Check ✅

It was meant to be a beautiful summers day, so a friend and I organised to take the kids on the bush walk to Whataroa falls, located just 40 minutes out of Tauranga. The day before had been a stunner and the forecast looked good …

We packed light, only taking our lunch, first aid kit, water bottles and our togs …

The signpost at the car park said 1 hour 20 minutes to the falls; the perfect distance for our energetic 5 and 7 year old’s. Before we knew it the kids were off, running down the track – nice 👍 a good chance for the mamas to catch up after the Christmas break.

The walk went super fast! We had lots of inquisitive robins and fantails come to say hello, and had lots of fun giving the HUGE trees a big hug (to give us all a bit of perspective). The kids also spotted the coolest looking fungi in an old rotted out log, at first they said “oh, someone has been naughty and left some plastic rubbish or maybe an old soccer ball?” on closer inspection we decided it was a fungi, and after some research we found out it’s commonly known as white basket fungi (ileodictyon cibarium) …… Pretty cool find – well done kids!!!

And then, after about an hour of walking the thunder started! My friend and I give each other that look, you know the one – the  “oh no – I wasn’t expecting that!!! What do we do now?” look. We were so close to the falls, should we push on and try our luck? Or should we turn back and try again another day?

The sky wasn’t all that black, and there was no rain, plus it was still really warm out…

And so, in typical kiwi fashion we kept on walking “she’ll be right” 😜 as we say in NZ. We plastered relaxed smiles on our faces and did our best to distract the kids from the thunder. 😬 And let me tell you this wasn’t some light thunder far off in the distance this was BOOMING, shake the ground, ear splitting, cracking thunder ⚡…..

Needless to say, the kids weren’t so keen to keep going …. but with the lure of finding eels, from one of the people walking back from the waterfall, (they took the thunder as a sign to leave – huh, makes sense), the kids all but ran the last 10 minutes, not even noticing the thunder.

Yay, we made it to the waterfall without the sky falling on our heads! And, thanks to the thunder we had the place to ourselves 👍

The kids were happy paddling in the shallows, and they got to spot the big eel poking out from under a rock. After a while it started to spit, so we gave the kids some snacks and decided to head back. It was warm enough that the kids walked back in their togs, plus that way if it rained it wouldn’t matter and they would have dry clothes to get into at the car. Fun times!

What an adventure – we will all remember that one!

Nga mihi, Anita 🥜


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