Wainui River, Tata Beach, New Zealand

The Wainui River and Wainui Falls are located on the South Island of New Zealand in the Southwest the Tasman region. The river is short, but powerful. 

Part time New Zealand resident, Heidi Hough, traveled the Hummingbird Highway and hiked to along the river and to the falls.

The water source are are close to the Abel Tasman National Park, a native forest of nikau palms, rata trees and ferns. The habitate has attracted naturalists for centuries.

The rivers courses through dense bush and a narrow gorge to eventually to the 66 ft tall Wainui Falls. The Wainui Inland Track follows and the river for several miles and climbs a rapid height to view the falls.

The Wainui River deposits into the salt marshes of Golden Bay, named for the gold discovered in 1857.

From the earliest times to the present day, flax has been plentiful in Golden Bay. For the Māori it was essential to daily life, used to make clothing and rope. By the 1840’s several flax mills operated in area of Collingwood, providing work for the Māori, but closed around WWI.

The location surrounding the Wainui River also attracted the industries of gold mining, coal extraction, and logging in the mid 19th century and continued strong until the 1970s.

Buller River, Murchison, New Zealand

The Buller River is in the South Island of New Zealand. Heidi Hough is a part time resident of New Zealand and spends during the year taking road trips. Traveling along Buller Road, through the gorge and into the mountains, a riverside stop was made.

Buller River is on of New Zealand‘s longest rivers, it flows from Lake Rotoiti through the Buller Gorge and predominantly westerly direction for 105 mountainous miles and enters the Tasman Sea at Westport.

For most of its length the river flows in steep-sided gorges crossing wide gravel plains at Murchison, Inangahua and the coast. Although the Buller River is swift, this does not take away from its serenity as it flows through the beautiful gorges of New Zealand.  

The river’s Maori name, Kawatiri, is believed to mean “deep and swift”, an appropriate description of the river with many Rapids and a great flood discharge. The Buller is named after Charles Buller who furthered the colonization of New Zealand.

Vintage photos depict the Buller River in the late 1800s boating on the Buller 1850s, a fern pool along Buller Road by D. Mahoney taken in 1905, a Punt boat in 1910, Lyll Bridge and Buller Gorge in the 1930s.

An interesting headline concerns the debate over a new coal mine near Buller River. 

Firth of Thames, Waikato, New Zealand


Firth of Thames (originally Tikapa) in New Zealand where artist Tim Anderson visits his sister, artist Missy Anderson Scot.

The Firth of Thames is a large bay located in the north of the North Island of New Zealand. It is the firth of the rivers Waihou and Piako, where two rivers spill forth mixing fresh water with the salt.