Piroa Falls and Ruakaka Beach

For us this year is going to be all about appreciating the little moments, more adventures and more ice cream dates. On the 1st January we started the year off as we plan to continue - with our first adventure. The plan was to pack up the car and head to Ruakaka beach with the whole family (puppy included). On the way I started chatting away about how I hadn't visited Piroa Falls for years and so incidentally we ended up heading off the beaten track in search of the falls. After a quick Google search we discovered that we needed to take the Waipu Gorge road off State Highway 1, at the bottom of the Brynderwyn Hills. From there it was about a 7 km drive down a dusty, gravel road. 

Once we parked the car we wandered down the track, through the bush until we reached a stream at the bottom of the hill. It's an easy, short walk for the whole family. A small concrete bridge allows you to cross the stream without any hassle. A few more metres walk along the path and you'll reach the waterfall. 

The cascading falls are about twenty metres high and the stony bottomed water hole underneath makes for the perfect swimming spot. The water is obviously quite deep as people were climbing up the rocks on the side to bomb off. The stream was perfect for a refreshing, quick paddle for little ones though. 

On our way back to Ruakaka beach we stopped at the Oasis Store (down Bream Bay Drive) for a rolled ice cream - raspberry and lemonade for me; mint chocolate chip for my little bear. We tied our dog Willow up to one of the BBQ tables outside the dairy, where she waited patiently for the leftovers. After we'd finished the last of our melting ice creams headed to the beach. 

 Ruakaka beach is one of the only beaches that you're allowed to take dogs to in the peak summer season. It was Willow's first trip to the beach, which must of just seemed like one giant sandpit to dig in. 

 My little 18 month old boy also insisted on holding her lead to walk Willow down the beach. It was cute to start with, but soon became even more amusing when Willow pulled him over while he giggled and held on as tight as he could! One very tired fur ball and toddler on the drive back to Whangarei. 

Wish everyone a happy new year, filled with lots of adventures x 

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