A sunny day waiting to happen.

An absolutely awesome swimming spot, in fact the entire river is clean and filled with swimming holes and is great to get in some tubes and float down. While I spent the day exploring the river, their were about 200 people all along the 1 km stretch I was on. Their were 4x4's driving further down and up the river, Their were horseback riders heading along. The entire place is just one massive fun river playground. As for the dam, it was built in 1870 by a German Immigrant, Louis Schmoll, to power a flour mill. He ran into money problems and then feebly attempted to fake insurance claims. In 1873 when James Graves was the owner of the dam, he remodeled the place, but it eventually burnt down. It was not rebuilt, but the dam is still present and was restructured in 1998. You can swim under it, and there is still the spot where the waterwheel once stood.


Driving North on Highway 1, just over the historic Waianakarua bridge. You will pass the Mill House, Then take the turn off to Breakneck Road, it will be on your left. It will swiftly turn right. Follow this passed the Herbert Forest Campground, and when you cross over bridge, park up and take the dodgy little trail down to the river. And there ya have it. The Graves Dam.

Helpful links