After being hidden in the bush for many years, a long-forgotten waterfall will soon be able to be seen again by the public.
The Te Wairere Waterfall Track restoration is a joint project between Vision Kerikeri and Rotary Kerikeri and was started in 2015. The objective is to create public access to the Wairoa Stream waterfall from the Pa Road Bridge.
Around 1.2km of track has already been completed and includes two small bridges and a series of steps being built by Rotary.
A larger bridge will be necessary to access the final 500 metres to the waterfall.
After modifying the original design and cost estimates, the two groups expect to start building the bridge over the next couple of months.
Vision Kerikeri is responsible for clearing the track and with help from Friends of Wairoa Stream have been busy replanting native flora. Although a planned planting was literally washed out in early June because of heavy rain, they have still managed to plant 6000 natives in the area so far.
Many of those native plants have been supplied by The Shadehouse, a volunteer-run nursery that has supplied over a quarter of a million native plants and trees for replanting projects around Northland.
Both The Shadehouse and Vision Kerikeri are headed up by former naval commander Rod Brown, who says the biggest problem with the Te Wairere Waterfall Track is weeds.
"The density of the neglected jungle of acmena, Taiwan cherry, brush wattle, tobacco weed and other noxious bloody invaders and tangled vines has twice required three days of hard work for an experienced digging contractor to clear the banks in readiness for planting," he said.
"Moth plant is pernicious and was rampant but is now in a controlled phase and infill planting of 214 native plants has taken place on the boundary of four neighbouring properties."
Mr Brown said so far 626 man-hours have been spent to clear 550 metres downstream of Cobham Bridge and 300 metres upstream.
Phase two of a planned operation will see a 350-metre-long path constructed around the waterfall to link to a public walkway and proposed wildlife corridor. That will then create a 3km public track from Pa Rd Bridge to Campbell Lane.
Maintaining the stream will be a joint project between Vision Kerikeri and another group, Living Waters.