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Why Is Sustainability Important » Sustainability In Waitakere

Waitakere Tears

After our blissful getaway wedding in Whitianga, New Zealand, the musicians who played at our reception (a wonderful couple named Sasha and Natarani together known as Heartstrings) gave us a very beautiful CD of their music. One of their songs was called "Waitakere Tears," (pronounced why-TAHK-uh-ray) and when I think about the Waitakere Ranges, that song comes to mind for some reason. Maybe it's the frequent rain or streams moving down the mountains or the waterfalls or the sea spray from the crashing waves that make me think of the Waitakere Tears. Regardless of what it is, I look back at the Waitakere Ranges with a sense of longing and nostalgia, wishing I was back there again.

The Waitakere Ranges are mountains just west of the cosmopolitan city of Auckland - New Zealand's largest city. Sandwiched between the mountain range and the ocean are uncrowded beaches and scenic waterfalls. So in a sense, the Waitakeres almost act as a barrier between the natural and urban worlds. Kitekite Falls is one of the waterfalls on the western side of the Waitakeres. It features a 40m drop over three vertical tiers. The pleasant nature walk along the Kitekite Stream to the falls complements the serenity and grace of the forested scene. Neighboring the waterfall is the gorgeous Piha Beach. Watched over by the monolith known as Lion Rock, this idyllic black sand beach is a great place to relax and have a picnic.

South of Piha is the smaller and quieter Karekare Beach. If you've seen the movie The Piano, then it might look familiar to you because it was filmed here. Fiercely defended by locals to prevent out-of-control urbanization and commercialism, the black sand beach remains quiet, peaceful, and naturesque. If you follow the Karekare Stream from the beach towards the mountains for just a few minutes, you'll find yet another waterfall surprise - Karekare Falls. Along with its pleasant 25m drop, there's a picnic table as well as a small plunge pool to frolick beneath the falls.

Of course Piha and Karekare are merely just a couple of picturesque spots sheltered from urbanization by the Waitakere Ranges. There are numerous other spots and features such as Bethell's Beach, Kauri Forests, and Fairy Falls to name a few. Indeed the unspoiled beaches and waterfalls make me envious of Aucklanders who only have to drive less than an hour to get here and rejuvenate themselves amongst nature. In fact, the more I think about it, I think Waitakere Tears are really tears of joy.

Johnny T. Cheng is author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls (Story Nature Press).

Find out more about his book at http://www.storynature.com or visit his waterfalls blog at http://www.world-of-waterfalls.com.

Source: www.articlecube.com