Shine Falls, Boundary Stream Mainland Island Reserve
Shine Falls is the highest waterfall in Hawke’s Bay and is a must-visit for any tramper visiting in the region.
The track weaves beneath impressive limestone cliffs and through farmland to the bushline. A stile is crossed to enter the mainland reserve and the track leads high above the river. Being a mainland reserve, there are several rare endemic manu to spot, including kōkako, kākā and the yellow-crowned kākāriki, as well as the usual korimako, kererū and robin. Keep an eye out in the first 10 minutes for the critically endangered kākābeak which possesses vibrant red flowers resembling curved beaks. At last count, there were less than 150 plants left in the wild.
After about 30 minutes, with several teasing glimpses of the falls, a spectacular bowl is reached. From a narrow source 58m above, the waterfall fans magnificently across the sheer limestone face, dropping into a picturesque pool. Unlike so many of the North Island’s waterfalls, the water is clear and inviting, and if you’re not squeamish about eels, it’s a heavenly place for a dip.
Return via the same track, or continue to the Pohokura Road car park (5hr) if you have transport arranged.