We then took a very scenic drive north of New Plymouth, along one of the fastest eroding coastline in the world. The Tasman Sea is continually sculpting and shaping the cliffs creating caves, tunnels and archways.We passed through Tongapōrutu, known as the 3 sisters - spiky islets freestanding independent of the sandstone cliff, only accessible to walk to at low tide, Mokau and its beautiful white cliffs and Mokau River Estuary and then the rolling countryside as we meandered next to farmlands, across streams, beside hills, finding little villages and sea side settlements as we went. Turning inland we made three further stops:
Marakopa Falls - 35m high waterfall, often referred to as the most beautiful in NZ. A short walk led us to the falls where we stood in awe, amazed by its beauty.
Mangapohue Natural Bridge – 17m limestone arches, just hidden by the road are the remnants of an ancient cave system. We had no expectations here, but were wowed as we walked through the fairytail like forest and came across this beautiful natural phenomenon.
Ruakuri Bushwalk – Again, a surprise for us. A huge forested gorge with cliffs, arches, streams and caves to explore.
Ending up at Waitomo, a village known for its extensive underground cave systems, some of which we had just discovered, is also home to the famous Waitomo Cave’s and glowworms that light them up. There are a few companies here in Waitomo that offer ‘adventures’ and ‘experiences’ to see the caves in multiple different ways...
CHECK OUT OUR HIGHLIGHTS FROM NEW PLYMOUTH TO WAITOMO IN THE VIDEO BELOW!