Nature Park is in the
Boulders near the
at Wairere near
in the Far North District of Northland, New Zealand. The park,
now a tourist attraction has been created by Rita and Felix Schaad
between 1999 and 2003. It is an area of eroded basalt rocks, mentioned in the
Geopreservation Inventory classed as:
Internationally significant ...... One of best examples in
Our own research shows that it is, beside some occurrence in Hawaii, the most accentuated erosion on basalt rock world wide.
It is an awesome and an exciting adventure to explore this world unique attraction. It can be enjoyed on easy walking tracks from 30 min up to 2 hrs.
We are open every day
during daylight hours!!
We are an "Official Partner" of the "Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail" sometimes called "Coast to Coast Cycle Trail" or "Twin Coast Cycle Trail" from Opua via Kawakawa, Kaikohe, Okaihau to Horeke connecting the Bay of Islands to the Hokianga Harbour.
The length of the basalt rock amassments on the valley floor is 1 1/2 km. There are thousands of boulders stacked on top of each other, some around 30 m high. They look like a stream of rocks and boulders flowing down towards the Hokianga Harbour.
At a first look, everybody thinks the rocks are
a limestone formations because of their deep cuts called fluting, but it is actually basalt.
In the early days of New Zealand settlement, parts of the valley were logged and mainly Rimu (type of timber) and Kauri was extracted. The river was dammed to flush logs down through the canyon. Some logs from that time are still stuck between rocks, boulders, and old stumps can still be found in the bush near the upper part of the boulder area.
|The site of the saw mill (the first water driven mill in New Zealand owned by William Webster is still to be seen. New Zealand's first steam mill, imported as well by William Webster was initially built at the Hokianga Heads but later moved to Wairere. Remnants of the loading facilities to ship timber down the Wairere river to the Hokianga Harbour are still to be seen.|
|In the early days there existed an entire village, called Wairere, on the left valley side. It is to be found on older maps and was mainly for housing of timber mill workers. Some of the locations of dwellings can still be detected and some bits and pieces of old china prove that there were people living here in the early settlers' days. The first written report about the boulders, we are aware of, is in the Maori Journal, written by John Webster, the younger brother of William Webster.|
|Later the interest in the valley faded. We know that on the bottom end there was some livestock farming to produce cream at the beginning of last century and in 1946 the old milking shed on the right valley side was abandoned. A new milking shed was then erected on the left valley side. The old cottage was transformed into a hay barn, but we later restored it to its original beauty. (For more detail see the Schaad Homepage)||
When we (Rita & Felix) purchased the valley in 1983, nobody had an interest in the area. It was considered to be too tough to live in that valley and neither livestock farming nor growing timber seemed to be a valuable option.
Track leading through bush. An incredible wealth of ferns, palms, native trees and bird life can be experienced while strolling along these tracks.
|But we were attracted by the
picturesque beauty of the place. We decided to fence the bush and boulder
area off, so no livestock could enter and destroy its stunning uniqueness.
In 1984 we built some walkways for ourselves and friends to be able to
stroll through the rich sub tropical
bush. Since then more and more people have wanted to see our wonder of nature.
|It was always our wish that many people could enjoy
the stunning site of our valley. This wish finally came true and we hope many more people
will enjoy the magnificence of our part of the valley.
To be able to show our place to bigger groups of people, we had to improve our tracks, mainly the parts where one needed to climb over rocks, which are very slippery under wet weather conditions.
|As Felix is a New Zealand and Swiss registered civil engineer, we decided to build a platform, as well as small foot bridges and stairs throughout the valley. It was a very dangerous and labour intensive job. Rita had to secure Felix on many occasions on a rope to make sure he did not disappear in one of the 30 m deep gaps between some boulders. Most construction material and the tools had to be transported down to the valley floor by a flying fox. The power for the tools was generated by a mobile unit stationed about 70 m away from the construction site.||
We hope you enjoy your stay at Wairere Boulders, be it here with us in New Zealand or be it on our Website in cyber space.
|Customes often search us under the wrong names, for instance Waiwere Boulders, Waiwera Boulders, Waiare Boulders, Wairera Boulders, Wairare Boulders, Waiere Boulders, Waitere Boulders, Wairere Adventure Park. But we are called Wairere Boulders it is the name for our Nature Park. The valley is properly called Wairere Valley. We also produced the name Wairere Boulder Valley. This is not an official name and the denomination is our intellectual property.|