Okere Falls

The Kaituna River flows out of Lake Rotoiti, on its way to the coast of the Bay of Plenty. It leaves the lake as a rushing stream, and less than a kilometre from the lake tumbles over the seven-metre high Okere Falls, which once provided electricity to Rotorua.

If you’ve read After the Roses, you might recall a family visit to the Rotorua area, with a day trip that included Okere Falls. Daisy and the others went by boat as far as the inlet, then walked to the falls. These days it’s an easy drive up to the site of the old power station, then a pleasant walk alongside the stream, retracing Daisy’s steps.

The power station was completed in 1901, making Rotorua just the fourth town in New Zealand to have electricity. Growing demand led to its expansion in 1908, but in the 1920s power became available from larger schemes on the Waikato River. The Okere Falls station closed in 1939, and it was dismantled over the next few years. Remains of the power station are still visible.

Okere Falls Power Station Okere Falls Power Station

Further along the track come the falls themselves, tumbling into a swirling pool.

Okere Falls

Set into the steep bank here are the steps Daisy and her party descended.

Hinemoa's Steps

The cave at their base is no doubt still home to many cave weta, but nowadays it’s fenced off for safety.

Okere Falls

Today there’s another attraction: the excitement of rafting over Okere Falls.

Okere Falls Rafting Okere Falls Rafting

Had it been an option in 1923, I’m quite certain Eddie would have been eager to try this out. I’m equally certain that Daisy would have insisted on going along, too.

Okere Falls

18 Comments


  1. How beautiful! And, yes, Daisy would definitely have insisted on going along.

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    1. Yes, it’s a lovely spot. And I’m glad you agree about Daisy. 🙂

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  2. I laughed out loud reading about the above comments regarding Eddie and Daisy. I could not agree more that the two of them would have loved that adventure!

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  3. I don’t understand, with Daisy & Eddie being so well educated [potential spoiler deleted]

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    1. Hi AB,

      I omitted part of your comment, as it could be a spoiler for anyone who hasn’t yet read “After the Roses”.

      As for your question: I see it as one of those things that’s always been part of your life, and you just don’t really notice it – especially when it’s something you grow up with. This situation crept up on them, and took them both by surprise.

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  4. I read all 7 of your books and enjoyed 6 of them. I thought, “All I Want,” was very, very sad. I enjoyed all your characters except for three of them. I thoroughly enjoyed the relationship that developed between Amy and Sarah, and the part when Amy voted for the first time. Pay back existed in the voting booth that day!

    We have a Ray Lathem Buick dealership here in Grosse Pointe Michigan and various other cities here, also?

    Thank you for your stories and your description of New Zealand. Being born and reared in America I have always wanted to visit New Zealand, Australia and Wales but never got the chance thanks to various circumstances.

    I am anxiously waiting for your next book.
    A satisfied reader of Shayne Parkinson books.

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    1. Thanks so much, AB! I loved writing that relationship – and the voting booth triumph!

      Buicks were very much admired as luxury touring cars in New Zealand back then. They needed to be comfortable, as the roads were so awful!

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  5. After the Roses left me hoping for miracles for Daisy and Eddie, or should I say fairy tales?
    Will there be a sequel, so we can all find out?

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    1. Oh, yes, I definitely plan a sequel, Linda. It won’t be soon (nothing is soon with my writing…), but I do intend to follow Daisy along her journey.

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  6. I too look forward to more books in this family series. The geographic and historical information is nearly as interesting as the characters, the family and cultural customs. But always what engages me most are the too real feelings of the women sharing their joys and difficulties–so well described.

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    1. Thanks so much, Lucy. Giving a voice to those often-forgotten women is one of my ongoing motivations for writing.

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  7. I am currently in the middle of After the Roses and I am so in love with your series!! I have been working on it for 9 months (I have 3 kids and a part time job) but I cannot wait to find out how the story ends! Thank you for posting pictures so I can actually see where Daisy and her family went!

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    1. You’re very welcome, Kelley! I love been able to place Daisy and the others in places I can easily picture, especially those that haven’t changed much in the last hundred years or so.

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  8. Glad you plan a sequel for Daisy. Love your books. Unfortunately, I am reading your books far too quickly. Thank you for writing.

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    1. Yes, I’m afraid that following my writing is an exercise in patience! Thanks for yours, Judy.

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  9. Shayne, I discovered your 1st book when I purchased an electronic reader for my solo journey from Arizona, US to Australia for a contract position for 5 months. I immediately fell in love with your stories and went through the first 3 during my stay. As each new book has been released, I have started over with the first enjoying every word again as I approach your latest book. I did get to travel to the North Island of New Zealand and it certainly is God’s country! Thank you for your stories and more importantly for sharing!

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    1. Thank *you*, Jodi! How lovely to think of you re-reading the earlier books in preparation for each new one.

      I’m glad you had the chance to visit present-day New Zealand while you were relatively close by!

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