Haruru Falls is a small settlement in Far North New Zealand nestled peacefully in the river valley where the Waitangi Falls into the tidal lagoon.
1Haruru Falls today is a small residential settlement, about three kilometres inland from its larger neighbour, 3Paihia. Nestling peacefully in the river valley where the 2Waitangi falls into the tidal lagoon, exactly halfway between 4Kawakawa and 5Kerikeri lies Haruru. Originally called the Waitangi Falls by the settling Europeans, the Māori word Haruru meaning 'Big Roar' is now its given name. With 700 residents, the town has a light industrial area, riverside residential development, motels and camping grounds serving the tourist population, an airfield, and a pub which pulses with live music on the weekends.
Lily Pond, Haruru Falls
Visitors, who venture off S11, at approximately 1.5km from Haruru Falls, will be rewarded with a refreshing dip at Lilly Pond.
Attractions and Activities
The Waitangi Reserve, which borders the north side of the lagoon, is a protected area for the Kiwi and Weka. There are walking tracks through the reserve, and on a night trek you may even spot an elusive Kiwi. The lagoon is a great place for kayaking, swimming and all other fun water activities. The lily pond is a great local swimming hole, and is very popular on hot sunny summer days. There are numerous walking tracks in the area. In May of each year Haruru Falls co-hosts with other towns in the local area, the
Bay of Island Country Rock Festival,
this runs for three days
There have been settlements here for over a thousand years. Nine Māori villages once existed between the falls and the lagoon entrance. Inland Māori tribes used the rivers as a road for war and also in their search for seafood. Local chiefs killed in battle were placed in rock caves on the side of the falls where there was a kaianga (village) - a number of burial sites exist nearby. There was a tapu (forbidden) put on the Falls in the early 1800s because a Taniwha (sea monster) was said to be living in the lagoon, which would eat any children who swam there. 6Kaipatiki Kāinga, near Haruru, was the place where the last taking of human flesh was recorded in New Zealand.
Old Wharf Road in Haruru Falls was the first surveyed road built in New Zealand, constructed in 820. Captain John Irving was the first European settler who started a boat building company. Flat bottom scows plied their trade from Auckland along the river right up to the Falls, navigating the channel marked by whale oil beacons. The scows carried stock, farm implements, and goods for the hinterland, returning with Kauri logs, gum and flax that had been traded with the local Māori. The last Kauri logs were floated over the falls in 1934.
1 Haruru - Big Roar
Wai - water
tangi - weeping, mourning
3Paihia - ‘good here’.
It is believed that Reverend Henry Williams came to New Zealand knowing only a few words of Māori, one of them being ‘pai’meaning good. When they came to Paihia, he turned to his companion, a Māori chief, and said ‘Pai here’.
4Kawakawa - Native Tree
5Kerikeri - Dig up repeatedly
Kai - food
patiki - flounder
Kāinga - village