December 8, 2014 … the magic of the back-country

Lake Rotomanu can be translated as “the lake of the  birds”.


Terrorizing the ducks on Lake Rotomanu … in fact the ducks just glided out of the way, and seemed unperturbed.


Perhaps it once was. Now it seems to be a recreational lake for the power-boating community of New Plymouth.I suppose everyone needs somewhere to have fun, and many activities are exclusive of others. There are winners and losers. Taking shots of the water-ski people seemed like a foot in both camps. As you can see from the ducks in the path of the skier, they are not easily dislodged.

Water skier

It’s a very small lake for such high-powered craft, but they were clearly having fun


With  the sun behind them, I have to confess that they put on quite a show.


The Mokau River


We went North to Mokau where we hoped to join the once a day birding trip up the Mokau river. Sadly I looked at the schedule for the other company, and the only boat that went that day left an hour before we got there. Not to worry. We drove up Te Mahoe Road on the Northern bank of the river and were utterly entranced by the beauty of the landscape and the peacefulness of the river. Every few metres there was a small jetty with a rudimentary shelter from which keen whitebait fishers seek their elusive quarry. Thus inspired we went back to Mokau village where I enjoyed a magnificent whitebait fritter for lunch.


Herding sheep on the Mt Damper station


We explored other back roads and loved it all, from Mohakatino and Tongaporutu, until we saw a sign that mentioned Mount Damper Waterfall. We drove thirty or so kilometres in wild and rugged county until at last we reached Mt Damper station. Some drizzle was falling and in the distance I could hear the shrill whistle of the farmer, and the barking of the dogs as a huge mob of sheep was being moved. The pattern along the hillside  was a delight.


A brief impasse while the sheep decided if they were more scared of s or the dogs yapping at their heels. The dog won.


What we had not realised, was that they were being driven around the head of a valley and were soon coming along a narrow ridge straight towards us. We had to get of the track to let the sheep progress, but it was interesting to be among the mustering action.

Mt Damper

I wish I had been better able to convey the scale and grandeur of this landscape, despite the rain


When the flock had passed we carried on towards the waterfall, about 20 minutes from the gate. Again the bush had a wonderful serene quality to it and was a joy to walk in. We emerged within earshot of the falls and looked out through the mist and drizzle to the valley very far below. That’s quite a wide river down in the gully.


Over the edge to splatter on the rocks far below


And there, to our left, Mt Damper Waterfall was spurting out over a sheer drop and falling in a feathering veil to some spot down in the bush beyond our ability to see. It’s not a huge volume of water, but it is a very long drop.

It was a splendid day.


About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Animals, Birds, Lakes, Landscapes, Light, Maritime, Taranaki. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to December 8, 2014 … the magic of the back-country

  1. nzvideos says:

    Great waterfall shot!
    In case you might not know – Mt Messenger, about 5km South of Ahititi, is the location site for Vincent Ward’s ‘Vigil’.

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