Haruru Falls today is a small residential settlement, about three kilometres inland from its larger neighbour, Paihia. But, in the days of early European settlement, it was the scene of many firsts.
Haruru Falls was New Zealand’s first river port and an aramoana (sea road or ocean path) for the inland Maori tribes and for the early vision boats. HMS Dromedary was one, Karere (meaning messenger’) another. Missionaries once saw 60 to 100 canoes pulled up on the mud banks. Maori had a small settlement here where they traded. There were nine kaianga (villages) between Haruru and Waitangi.
Haruru Falls is approximately 3 hours drive from downtown Auckland or a direct 4 hour coach journey, the stop following Paihia. Alternatively Kerikeri Bay of Islands Airport is 20 minutes shuttle ride away.
The ship departs from Russell so you will need to catch the ferry from Paihia across. It is approximately 10 minutes from Haruru Falls into Paihia but allow time to park as well as travel. All day parking is available in the Pay & Display carpark on Williams Road.
There are limited restaurant options in Haruru Falls for evening meals and transport is recommended to Paihia or over to Russell. There is a beautiful walkway from Haruru Falls into Waitangi through the mangroves and forest which takes approximately 90 minutes.
Places to stay include:
Cooks Lookout Motel
Haruru Falls Motor Inn