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Nihotupu Falls and the Upper Nihotupu Dam

Updated: Jul 26, 2021

Today I traveled to Nihotupu Falls and Dam. It's a 30 min ride from the city. Located in the Western part of Auckland near Piha, this beautiful place offers views over gorgeous landscapes. You almost feel like a tiny spot among the mass of trees that grow from the rocky mountain on both sides. The trees are almost hanging on you. This gives you a sense of power that this place possesses.


Trees growing from rocky mountain
Trees growing from rocky mountain

Next, there was a steep slope down the path. Something that looked like water was making bubbling sounds as if there was a massive stream making its way through the bush. Finally, when coming closer to the source of the sound, a picturesque view of the Nihotupu stream exposed itself among the rocks and trees:

Next, there were wonderful views over the upper Nihotupu Reservoir. From there a Nihotupu Dam is visible in the distance.

On our approach to the dam, it became clear that the water level at the dam was low. The shores' area without green on it told us that. The dam itself looks astonishing on both sides.

It took 8 years to construct the dam. It is a concrete gravity dam. Sand cement and coal were transported by barge from Onehunga. Materials were then hauled 4km up the Nihotupu Valley along a trampoline.

The contract for the dam started in 1915. But, many difficulties delayed the construction. Because of this, Auckland Council decided to build an auxiliary dam in 1921 to provide extra water storage.

The upper Nihotupu Dam was finally completed in 1923, two years later. This followed the Waitakere Dam in 1910. Later dams were the Upper Huia Dam in 1929, the Lower Nihotupu Dam in 1948, and the lower Huia Dam in 1971.

Nowadays, the dams in the Waitakere range supply nearly 20 percent of Auckland's water. There are also 4 supply dams operating in the Hunua Ranges, which provide 60 percent of Auckland's water.

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Hello, I am a Blog Writer

In my blog I love to write about New Zealand Nature. My focus is to provide value to website visitors by offering New Zealand Nature-related information and articles. By reading my blog you will learn a lot about New Zealand nature, how to preserve it and how to get the most out of your travel and nature-related endeavors!

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Nikolai Kolbenev

Blog Writer