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Marokopa Falls & Beach

Our outing at Waitomo (read here) was an exciting one as it was the first of its kind in what we had seen in our lives till now. Being on time paid us well and we were free by 5 pm in the evening. However it did bring some very familiar state of indecision to us as the summer sun was still high in the sky and we didn't want to go home that early.

After some whacky ideas and brainstorming everyone gave me the power to choose what to do, may be because of my familiarity with the area maps, things to see and other attractions which we could see.Being an island country we are never too far from sea on any side. This is the fact which I had in my mind while thinking about an impromptu drive.
The map at the lookout on the way to Marokopa
I thought that continuing west can lead us to the west coast and there might be a beach. Although no one was sure as we didn’t have a GPS or Google maps. Only thing we had was an area map which showed that there was a small distance to the sea coast from the place where we were right now. Everyone unanimously agreed that we should have an unplanned trip as we had at least 2-3 hours at our disposal.

So I sat in the navigator’s seat and we went off to explore the not so famous areas. The road was narrow and winding. But it was very beautiful as we had started climbing the small hills on our way to the coast. After half an hour of driving we reached a lookout where we stopped for some time to straighten our legs.
The way to waterfall across the dense native forest
There was a map displayed on the lookout which said that there was a beach ahead and a waterfall on the way to the beach. We were excited as it was something which we didn't expect. So we jumped into the car and set the waterfalls to be our first destination. The terrain was getting quite hilly and road had more twists and turns than ever.

We then found a road sign which said Marokopa waterfall and there was some parking space on the side of the road. After getting out of the car and reading the road sign properly we saw that the falls were half a kilometer down through a dense native forest. However the properly constructed walkway made walking easier. I was a bit reassured that we were on the right way as I had some doubt whether we were in the right direction or not.
Marokopa waterfall
We all started walking towards the falls and I led the way. As we came near I could hear the growing noise of the water falling and I got more and more excited to see the falls. After around 10 minutes of walk I got a glimpse of the falls and I was awestruck to see the waterfall. I shouted in joy and called everyone to hurry and see the falls.

The waterfall was so majestic and high that it was creating a huge noise. I had never seen such huge waterfalls in my life. I was completely in awe of the beauty of the falls. There was a small lookout where the walkway had ended. We were supposed to stay there and return from that point.

But I couldn't resist myself from going down to the falls and after telling everyone I started the descent. The way down was totally unpaved and muddy. My shoes were completely covered in mud when I reached down. I sat on a rock there and washed my shoes and socks.
Marokopa beach
Because of the water being dispersed in the air, there were tiny rainbows forming around the falls. It was a beautiful sight. After seeing me sitting on the rock in the waterfall, everyone else decided to come down and join me. Even they had their shoes and clothes smeared with mud.

We sat on the rocks and washed our shoes as much as we could. After sitting there for some time we decided to climb back to the lookout and then walk back to the car park. Slowly we made our way to the car and decided to go ahead to see the beach.
Marokopa Beach
Sometimes, I feel that New Zealand has so many beaches and bays that one might get bored with the same thing over and over again. But I have been proved wrong so many times that I have stopped thinking that. Each beach is so different from the other that one always ends up appreciating the beauty instead of cribbing about the same old saline water and sand.

We continued on our way to the coastal area and surprisingly after 10-15 kilometers we entered a valley which had undulating plains. It was a typical Kiwi landscape with huge flat green farms and small houses built sparsely in them. As we moved ahead we were joined by a flowing river on our side. I guessed that it was the same water body that included the Marokopa falls.
Only after seeing, one can realize how black a 'black sand beach' can be.
After some 5-6 kilometres we could sense the vast ocean. There was a small village on the coast. We parked our car and started walking towards the sea. I was startled to see the dark black colour of the sands. I thought that it might be because of some industry nearby but later I’d realize that it was the natural colour of the sand. That’s where I recalled a very common term heard many times – ‘black sand beach’.

As we continued walking towards the beach, the sand became more and more wet. An unusual golden colour was present on the top layer of the sands. I couldn't understand the reason for that. We moved ahead and saw a lagoon like water body which then merged into the sea. On the beach, we could see the extent-less Tasman Sea and it was not very violent.
Marokopa Beach
The beach was quite rocky and we had to walk carefully. There were a lot of seashells and other creatures being washed up the coast. I even saw a starfish on the beach and was excited to see that. We roamed around and expected to see a sunset as it was the west coast of New Zealand. However the clouds would not let us see the sunset.

We spent almost an hour there chilling out and roaming around. After that I noticed that the tide had started growing and soon the whole area would be submerged. So we all decided to go back to the car and have some snacks which we had been carrying with us. After some time of sitting and joking around, we started back to Hamilton. This time we knew our way and were confident of not getting lost.
The black sand with small amount of white sand over it, shining like gold dust
We continued and luckily covered the hilly areas of the drive back in the twilight. As we crossed Waitomo we were on the major national highway and quickly on our way back home. It took us almost 2 hours to reach home. We were very happy after a day well spent. The day had been very entertaining as it contained all the elements of entertainment including adventure, unknown places, and beautiful surroundings; just like a typical Bollywood movie.

Here is another blog link for Marokopa Falls and beach which I thought I should mention here.
http://kiwiblogbus.com/2012/04/28/the-journey-continues-marokopa-falls/
http://kiwiblogbus.com/2012/04/26/magnificent-meanderings-to-marokopa/

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