It's no secret that everyone loves waterfalls. This is evident by their popularity and the amount of tourism dollars spent to support their visitation. They even buoy the economy of some countries around the world. And while many have tried to study why we are so drawn to waterfalls, there's no denying that most of us would bend over backwards to see them.
In New Zealand – a land known for stunning natural beauty – there are many waterfalls to complement its already impressive collection of natural attractions and features. Thanks to its position in the roaring 40s (between 40 and 50 degrees South Latitude), it rains frequently and the wet weather comes from all directions – the Tasman Sea, South Pacific Ocean, or Southern Ocean. The Maori name of the land, Aotearoa, means "land of the long white cloud" so its wet climate did not go unnoticed by the early inhabitants as well. Indeed, waterfalls are bountiful and they provide the perfect excuse to see the country while experiencing the country's incredible scenic diversity.
New Zealand's waterfalls come in all different shapes and sizes. There are short and stocky ones like the powerful powder-blue Huka Falls and the majestically tall drop-down-the-mountain ones like Sutherland Falls. There are the classically rectangular ones like Marokopa Falls as well as the graceful and elegantly tall ones like the Bridal Veil Falls near Raglan. There are even alluring ones that won't overwhelm you with their height but mesmerize you with their character like the multi-tiered Purakaunui Falls. No matter how you look at them, there is a unique beauty about each waterfall. No two are the same and you could spend a lifetime trying to visit them all.
Geographically sprinkled throughout the country in both North and South Islands, the waterfalls allow you to see the best natural scenery that New Zealand has to offer – both on and off the beaten paths. You'll find them in the subtropical settings of Northland, in coastal locales like the Coromandel Peninsula, or the thermal and volcanic wonderlands of Tongariro National Park. Moreover, you can also find them in mythical fiords like the Milford and Doubtful Sounds, the snowy expanses of the Southern Alps, or even the wind-swept Catlins Forest. And since New Zealand is tailor made for self-driving tours, you can take your pick of which waterfalls to visit and which parts of the country to experience them.
With New Zealand Waterfalls, you are not only making the most of your time immersing yourself in nature, but you're also getting good exercise, learning about the land, and collecting memories you will cherish for the rest of your life. So no matter how you look at it, there's no reason not to visit the country's waterfalls. After all, they're 100% pure Kiwi bliss!
Johnny T. Cheng is author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls (Story Nature Press). Find out more about his book at www.storynature.com or visit his blog at www.world-of-waterfalls.com.