These falls were named after Thomas Dawson, who came to Manaia as postmaster in 1881 and discovered them two years later. They became a well-known tourist attraction – these visitors are posing about 1910. The falls’ Māori name is Te Rere o Noke (the falls of Noke). When Noke was chased by a group who were set on killing him, he hid behind the falls, the pursuers ran past him, and Noke escaped to the east. In Dawson Falls’ Māori mythology, picturesque bush setting, and enduring tourist appeal, they are similar to many other North Island waterfalls.
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