May 29

We woke up and went for a walk on the beach where we saw 9 sea lions. They were amazing! They move more quickly than seals and are much more intimidating. (I would say graceful because they look coordinated over a short distance. The problem with this description is that most of the time they simply fall flat on their faces after sprinting 10 meters, or 4 blubbery strides/shimmies/waddles.) Their roars deter people from getting too near them with cameras, so Zhoel bravely took the footage. (We were disappointed that we didn’t get any epic face plants on video.)

We bade our new friends goodbye and got started on our waterfall filled day. Our first stop was Purakaunui Falls. We were duly impressed by the wide step-like falls. The forest walk was pleasant though a bit rainy. Matai Falls was next; it turned out to be two waterfalls, Matai and Horseshoe. They were also quite impressive, rather bigger than Purakaunui. Our third falls of the day was definitely the most amazing. McLean Falls is barely mentioned in the guidebooks and tourist materials; however, it was much more stunning than the other two. It was split into two parts: the chute, which shoots out water at high pressure, and the falls, which is a massive waterfalls. Although the walk is a bit further than the other two, I would certainly suggest visiting this waterfall.

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