I got a new camera for Christmas. Keen to practise using it, I persuaded my family to visit one of the few easily accessible waterfalls in the Bay of Plenty I hadn’t already seen, Okere Falls.
Okere Falls can be found just outside Rotorua. They’re by no means the best waterfalls I’ve been to, but they’re popular with kayakers and rafters.
Word of warning: don’t visit Okere Falls during the Christmas holidays. I found it difficult to get a decent photograph partly due to the lack of room on the viewing platforms!
(The other reason, I found out later, was because I didn’t have a Neutral Density Filter. I’m new to this “proper” photography stuff, okay.)
One part of the path to the falls is a narrow tunnel with steps carved into the rock. With so many people there, getting up and down the steps was a nightmare, so just beware.
There’s not really much more to say about Okere Falls. Afterwards, we drove into Rotorua, parked at Government Gardens and walked into the city centre in search of lunch.
I hadn’t explored the city centre itself in years, so I was surprised at how pretty it’s become. We made our way to Eat Streat, an avenue of fashionable bars and restaurants.
The main reason I’d wanted to visit Rotorua, aside from Okere Falls, was to go to a certain secondhand bookshop my dad had found whilst geocaching. (Don’t ask.) It didn’t disappoint.
It’s called Atlantis, and I was in love with it even before I’d seen the Art Nouveau-style Firefly posters on the wall! It’s got two floors, and the selection is quite impressive, although I was slightly disappointed by the history section. By time I’d finished, I had six books in my arms, including a really old copy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. So, there’s somewhere to look out for if you’re a bibliophile visiting Rotorua.
If you’d like to read about another waterfall I’ve been to in the Bay of the Plenty, check out my article on Kaiate Falls. They’re much more magical than Okere Falls, I reckon.