Walking New Zealand

Waterfalls a feature of Upper Nihotupu Dam walk

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shrubs along an uneven gradient. Here we heard the tui’s call. It took us about ten minutes to reach the broad gravel road which is part of the service road for the dam and water supply project.

Only permitted vehicles are allowed to pass through this road. This gravel road runs along green vegetation on both sides and it is very pleasant to walk through its twists and turns.

After walking along this gentle sloping road for about 15 minutes along Nihotupu Stream, I saw a trail diverting from the road. I thought it would be a short cut passage or something, but it led us to see this cascade of waterfalls with a cool water pool down below.

We could also see the bridge at the far end. Then we came back to the road, and a little ahead, crossed through the bridge over the same stream and kept going.

Five minutes after crossing the bridge, we saw this beautiful and refreshing waterfall which was visible from the road. We stopped and went close to it and took photos. It must have been six to seven meters high.

After that the reservoir started building and kept increasing in size, that is, its width. The bluish colour of the reservoir was well blended in the green vegetation covered rolling hills and looked very beautiful in this serene environmen­t. While trying to catch all the beautiful sceneries in your eyes, you just do not know when you cross the entire length of the road and reach the grand old dam.

Waitakere Ranges includes Auckland Centennial Memorial Park and Waitakere Ranges Regional Park and the Nihotupu Dam is in the later one.

Upper Nihotupu Dam is one of the five dams in the area and was completed in 1923 as a concrete gravity dam. Further downstream there is Lower Nihotupu Dam. The dams and the reservoir are managed by the Auckland City Council for water supply to the city.

As we approached the dam, there

was a small informatio­n centre with posters and informatio­n posted on the board. Some data of the dam are given in the picture.

We walked along the top of the dam for a few minutes collecting informatio­n and catching the sceneries in the camera. It was stunningly beautiful scenery and a calm atmosphere. We were looking at a large artificial lake on the northwest side and on the other several metre drop at the bottom of the dam.

I did notice, though, that the water level in the reservoir was below the usual mark, perhaps, it was an effect of drought caused by the less rain Auckland received in the last couple of years. The scene of the reservoir surrounded by green vegetation is so beautiful.

From the dam, on the south-east side, we could see the valley between two hill locks. Below, at the base, there was what seemed like a control station and some water was being released.

Continuing walking downhill to the end of the service road below, we saw a nice picnic area, and nearby, there were remains of the old tramway service. From there, the walk to the base of the dam is only a few minutes’ walk. From the base to the dam we climbed the steel ladder to come to the top again. It could be scary for some to look down from the ladder.

After resting a bit to drink water and have some snacks, we were ready to get back. We had a fantastic time and good walk, and came to

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 ?? ?? Above left: Starting point of the walk at the southwest corner of the parking lot.
Below: The catchment area of the reservoir.
Above left: Starting point of the walk at the southwest corner of the parking lot. Below: The catchment area of the reservoir.
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 ?? ?? Above left: There were many walkers along the road, some with family.Above right: This is a beautiful, cool and refreshing waterfall just by the side of the road.. Below right: Looking at the reservoir on one side and the service passage to the other side of the dam.
Above left: There were many walkers along the road, some with family.Above right: This is a beautiful, cool and refreshing waterfall just by the side of the road.. Below right: Looking at the reservoir on one side and the service passage to the other side of the dam.
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