Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Visit to Wairere Boulders

Just over a week ago we visited a place we've been wanting to see for a while. Wairere Boulders is a nature park that was originally created by Felix and Rita Schaad in the early 2000s but now owned by Graham and Paula Grant. 

Not far from the entrance there was this little fairy door and sign on the outside of this tree and there were several others dotted around the park. 

We were the only ones there because it was a Monday so it was extremely quiet apart from the sound of birds chirping and water bubbling along the river.

Visitors can walk the trails, kayak along the river or camp in the campground next to the reserve.

There are various trails, some easy, some a bit harder with steps but also quite a bit of climbing over large boulders. B and I walk through nature walks regularly but there was no way my parents (who were with us) would've managed this.

The Wairere Boulders have slid down the hillsides from an eroding Pliocene basalt lava flow of the Kerikeri Volcanic Group formerly known as Horeke basalts. Many of the boulders have deep solution basins and fluting formed on their surfaces as they very slowly slid down the valley sides.

Usually karst landforms are formed by solution of calcareous rocks (e.g. limestone and marble) by mildly acidic percolating water. At Wairere, and elsewhere, basalt has been dissolved, probably over a much longer interval of time, by the production of weakly acidic humic acid in the leaf litter that collects around the roots of plants that grow on the top of the boulders, usually beneath a forest canopy.

On the top of the boulders this humic acid has etched out solution basins 20–50 cm across and of similar depth. Humic acid seeping down the sides of the boulders has, over thousands of years, dissolved deep, near-vertical flutes out of the hard basalt. In some places the fluting is no longer vertical as the boulders have rolled over or tilted since it was formed.

Millions of years of gentle erosion by this rain resulted in the amazing rock formations we see today, with some of the rocks sitting over 30 foot high.

The walk we did was called the "Boulder Loop" which lead over bridges, boardwalks, stairs under and over rocks along the valley floor, it tooks us roughly about 40 minutes.

We thought it was ok, the rocks were impressive enough but we probably wouldn't go back again.

 Linking up with Our World TuesdayThrough my lensTuesday TreasuresMy Corner of the World and Wordless Wednesday.


  1. I like the idea of fairy castles waiting to be discovered.

  2. Love the fairy tree ~ looks like a lovely place walk ~ Xo ~ Neat photos!

    Living moment to moment,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  3. Both outdoorsy and whimsical - two qualities I really like.

    Worth a Thousand Words

  4. Hunting for fairy houses! What a neat idea!
    Thanks for sharing at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2021/03/help-please.html

  5. I love, love, love the idea of hunting for fairy houses! How fun!

  6. Fabulous explanation of the process, and great phots of the results. Have you ever visited the area around Harwoods Hole on the Takaka Hill? - similar processes have created another area of totally amazing sculpted rocks, and even the network of caves that Harwoods is famous for.

    1. No we haven't been there but thank you for the hint, we will put that on our bucket list.

  7. ...such a wonderful walk in nature. With our two youngest granddaughters we visited a place with a lot of fairy house, it was fun. Thanks Amy for stopping by.

  8. A marvellous place to visit. So lucky you can visit while kids are in school and others at work!!

  9. That is so cute with the fairy houses!

  10. Great place to visit. I didn't know the Schaads had sold. Graham and I came across Felix one day when we were there, he was a real character.

  11. It’s impressive to me that this is a privately owned park! I’d be more comfortable these days visiting when we were the only ones!

  12. Oh, what a beautiful post - did you make a wish?
    "...gentle erosion" - cute. If you hop over to Australia don´t miss Hamelin Pool and Stumpy, the Stromatolite. His ancestors erode in peace. Thank you for the memory. Do you have Weetabix? We had that there.+
    Oh and that caravan. My Mum, Bro and I had holidays at the North sea in such a tiny one (do you know what a pest a little Brother can be in such a thing, LOL - he´s my best friend now).

  13. The fairy houses are fun to see. We have some here on the river walk.

  14. Sounds like something for everybody! I didn't know about this place, so thanks for sharing. It would be fun hunting fairy doors at any age :)

    Thank you for being a part of 'My Corner of the World' this week!

  15. lol, I would love to visit this place. It weems both fun and beautiful.
    Take care!

  16. A fascinating landscape. I would have loved to have been on that walk with you.


Totems + Milk

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