By Brendan Moyle 23/03/2016

I didn’t realise we had so many waterfalls around the Auckland area until I started exploring.  Some waterfalls I had been aware of, just because they’re relatively well-known.  The Fairy Falls in the Waitakeres is one.  Many others are not so well known.  One of these falls I recently found was Nihotupu.

This weekend a few things came together to allow a return to these falls.  Light winds, overcast conditions, and I had the time spare.  It was a fortunate convergence of factors.  It’s also not a difficult hike to the waterfall.  About 30 minutes even with a bit of gear. The heaviest bit of gear is perversely, the carbon-fibre tripod.  Mostly because I’ve fitted a very solid, Manfrotto geared-head to it.  I like this tripod-head for two reasons.  First, it gives very precise framing of shots across three axes.  Second, it is very, very stable.  There’s no lens-droop or one iota of movement in the camera.  The main disadvantage is that it is a heavy head- much more so than the ball-heads I also own.

The drive over was lovely. I took the Scenic Drive through the Waitakere Ranges.  Low cloud hung over the range and for most of the tip, I was blanketed in mist.  I hoped it would persist lower down when I got to Nihotupu.  But that was not to be.

All of the shots below were taken with my Sony a7R- producing images of 36 megapixel, full-frame goodness.

This shot I think, is my favourite of the trip.  The waterfall is conspicuous and the rocks in the foreground give the image increased depth.

With this shot, I’ve gone for frame-filling goodness.  One of the features that appeals to me of this fall, is the texture of the water as it falls down the rocks.  Sometimes you just get a solid wall of water with this type of waterfall.  Nihotupu however, retains a shape and structure with the underlying rocks.

This shot I’ve gone slightly wider to place the waterfall in its forest setting.

Further upstream of the waterfall, are other smaller falls.  This is from an earlier expedition.