Tenaru falls is often talked about amongst locals, but rarely visited. Having been replaced by Matanikau as the local waterfall of choice, guides to the falls have become harder and harder to find and the visitors centre no longer has an ‘official guide’.

Opportunity arose, however, when a teacher from the area came to visit the SSEC. Deciding his daughter had little else better to do on a sunday, he said as long as we could get ourselves to their village, she’d show us the rest of the way. Woo hoo!! We organised Kelinda’s 4wd and somehow managed to squeeze in another 12 enthusiasts (who knew a 4wd could sit that many??)!

The road trip out the main road, past the airport and onto the dirt road at St Joseph’s school wasn’t too bad… but the endless dirt roads, bumps and over-heating as 12 people squeezed into a black 4wd with no aircon on a 32 degree day was a little much for one or two of the guests. We arrived in one piece, after about an hour and paid the customary parking fee to the local village.

The walk was through more stunningly green solli rain forest… Entirely flat, following the river, we followed a group of giggling high school girls as they sang and ambled up the path. The track crossed the river a few times and quick dip into the lake was just the refreshment we needed to keep walking. About 2 hours of gentle ambling for our large group… and the waterfall – absolutely spectacular!

I followed our guide straight into the lake and up onto the high ledge to do the “lead of death” into the pond below… A must do! We swam… giggled… laughed… took photos… snacked on our homemade sandwiches… and started back. Definitely an adventure I’d like to have again!!

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