Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

New Zealand: two views of Maruia Falls

with 24 comments

A year ago today we stopped for a while at Maruia Falls. A vantage point from above foreshortens the view. The brief hike down to the river reveals how wide the falls are. In fact Maruia was the widest waterfall we saw in New Zealand on either of our two trips.

Surprisingly, this impressive waterfall has existed only since 1929. We wouldn’t have seen it at all but for the fact that the coastal road north from Christchurch to Blenheim was still blocked near Kaikoura due to an earthquake-caused landslide. That forced us to drive hours out of our way to reach Blenheim in preparation for the ferry back to the North Island the next day.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

March 2, 2018 at 4:44 AM

24 Responses

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  1. Surprisingly, indeed. I did not know they were so young.


    March 2, 2018 at 6:15 AM

  2. The information connected to one of the photos in the link you provided suggests that the falls might still be enlarging, since they’ve gone from one meter high to ten meters. It’s interesting to ponder the ways that nature herself changes nature. Every now and then i think about the most recent Mississippi/Atchafalaya flood, and wonder if I’ll live to see the Mississippi finally overwhelm the constraints that have been placed on its flow.

    I like the broad sweep of water. Tall waterfalls are impressive, but this is equally pleasing.


    March 2, 2018 at 7:10 AM

    • I’ve seen nature documentaries that point out how Niagara Falls is gradually working its way upstream. Maruia is the first waterfall I’m aware of that has undergone an increase in height, and over so short a period, at that.

      I’ve heard it said (or else I just made it up) that there’s a name for human construction to control the Mississippi: folly.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 2, 2018 at 8:29 AM

  3. I can hear the loud gurgle of the falls! 🙂


    March 2, 2018 at 7:12 AM

  4. Wow, is that ever pretty!


    March 2, 2018 at 9:35 AM

    • I searched for wine waterfalls in Montana and this is what I found:


      Steve Schwartzman

      March 2, 2018 at 9:48 AM

      • A search for Montana waterfalls Montucky will bring up some of the falls in the rather limited area in which I wander (about 2,000 square miles). None are really what would be considered spectacular.


        March 2, 2018 at 10:21 AM

        • I did that search. Looks like your part of the state has plenty of scenic falls, even if not spectacular. I wouldn’t mind seeing some of them.

          Steve Schwartzman

          March 2, 2018 at 9:45 PM

          • I think you would enjoy that. A lot of hiking would be involved.


            March 2, 2018 at 9:47 PM

  5. It’s a beautiful spot. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a specific date for a waterfall! It would be fun to have a plaque “Niagara, est. 9982 BC. Your estimated time to arrival in Buffalo 20,082 A.D.” There are some man-made efforts to stabilize the Falls a bit, since it’s so expensive to drag all those hotels upriver. But the Falls that Charles Dickens saw in 1842 were hundreds of feet downriver of the ones we see now, and of course, we’re only seeing 25-40% of the water flow that Dickens saw, since so much is diverted for electricity.

    Robert Parker

    March 2, 2018 at 10:17 AM

    • You crack me up, Robert. I adore the mental image of bigwigs putting their shoulders to heavy ropes, dragging their hotels up river 😀


      March 2, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    • Yes, I saw a television documentary that pointed out that the flow over Niagara Falls is much less now than it historically was, given the diversion for electric generation.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 2, 2018 at 9:48 PM

  6. I’m sorry for your tiresome detour, but what a reward! I like both of these images but the first one just makes me want to relax and gaze.


    March 2, 2018 at 11:16 AM

    • Yes, in terms of picturesqueness, the detour was worth it. We almost had to take an even longer detour that would have added more hours. The night before we left, a wildfire along the route burned right up to the road, which was temporarily closed. When we drove by the next morning, fire crews were still out by the side of the highway finishing up their work, and we still saw smoke rising in some places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      March 2, 2018 at 8:10 PM

  7. Great shots Steve .. Looks like a special place. Thanks for sharing 🙂


    March 7, 2018 at 12:40 PM

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