Mystical. By name.
Intrigued. Right from the first time I heard of its fame.
The Riwaka Resurgence. Or in Maori, Te Puna o Riuwaka.
Somewhere beneath the Takaka Hill, in the breathtaking surrounding of the Northwestern top of the South Island lies a beautiful gem of nature secretly hidden in the depth of a little forest. Embraced by an unbelievably green, mossy wonderland.
Where the river begins, a place for healing. A mysteriously traveling water suddenly emerging from the vast network of caves. Out of nowhere. Making its way through the rocks. Surfacing and reviving. Fresh and cold. Spilling life. Chrystal clear green and blue layers twinkling in and out of the shade.
Riwaka Resurgence - one of the many truly amazing places where one can experience the wonders of this unique land and understand a bit of the strong Maori spiritual heritage of New Zealand. Nature and culture hand in hand. This is one of the reasons why I love it so much here. Let me take you there. :)
Nestled in the woods, a short drive from Motueka and approximately 60 km from Nelson, this magical place awaits. Our first visit was in spring. Abundant revival. The endless palette of greens and the freshness of the forest just mind-blowing. Greeted by iconic Maori figures with clear, shiny eyes made of shells, you enter through the carved gate. A rush of excitement begins to unfold... Welcome to the moss-filled green wonderland.
Following the path. Letting the trees and bush guide you through. Like in a fairytale, as the warm little rays of sun shine upon the leaves... There is something magical in the air...
Chrystal clear reflections. Light glittering.
The sound of the water making its way through the rocks. Embraced by sculpture like trees.
The art of nature.
And the water... incomparable, aquamarine blue.
"For Maori, every river has its own mauri or life force. Rivers are the veins of Papatuanuku, Earth Mother, and the water in them is her lifeblood. Rivers nourish all living beings and link us with ancestors. Te Puna o Riuwaka has special mana or status, because from here springs waiora - the waters of life."
It's a short walk, only 15 minutes. Yet it feels like we arrived to the deepest, most magical forest ever. We reach the top. Water-washed, mossy marble rocks. Hanging green branches gracefully holding the space. For the spring of the emerging river from underneath the rocks. Bubbling up out of nowhere, after traveling kilometres and finding its way out of karst wonderland...
The Riwaka Resurgence is known as a healing, cleansing place for Maori for many years. As the story goes according to the information provided by the Department of Conservation, Hui Te Rangiora, a well-traveled early Polynesian explorer of the 7th century, came to the river and used its sacred waters to heal himself on the way home from a grueling voyage in which he discovered Antarctica.
He was probably used to cold... As the water here is constantly fresh and cold, too, around 5-10 degrees all year round.
Healing powers? I can't quite tell.
Spiritual? If you are sensible enough, there is definitely something magical in the air.
Beautiful? Well, this is more than easy to tell...
And cold? Yes! Specially in winter, when we decided to go back again. The same surrounding, yet a totally different scenery... A misty, foggy, hail-kissed, pure winter wonderland...
So, we thought, this might be a perfect spot for a cold challenge! Dipped in to see how cold it really was. Well, it was. :) Refreshing, if you compare it to an ice bath :D, but still, relatively cold...
The feeling of the cold you feel till your bones. The excitement of a kid and twinkles in the eyes. Jumping from the rocks. Swimming deep. The spirit of adventure together. Encouraging words. Friends. And a hot drink after...
The breathtaking views of the clear water everywhere around you. The fresh air. The song of the birds and the leaves mixed with the soft tunes of the waterfalls. The quiet and peace...
Energising, empowering, revitalising.
A place to experience, visit, feel, sense.
For nature lovers, photographers, cold water-loving courageous bathers or those wanting to learn more about the wonderful Maori heritage.
Just like its name...
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