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8 Beautiful New Zealand Waterfalls For Your Bucket List

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  • Post last modified:August 1, 2022
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New Zealand is a hot topic among travelers, primarily because of its nature and its proximity to a lot of other stunning countries in the Pacific. Whether you are looking for adventure sports or just want to relax, there’s something for everyone when planning your New Zealand trip.

It’s no secret that New Zealand has breathtaking scenery, epic landscapes, and an outdoor adventure lifestyle in the form of famous waterfalls unlike anywhere else on earth. New Zealand is an area of beauty, and it’s almost impossible to try to pick out one specific feature that stands out above the rest.

Land Information New Zealand has maintained a gazetteer for a while now, and in it, there are 249 names for waterfalls. Here are 8 beautiful New Zealand waterfalls for your bucket list.


Bowen Falls

Bowen Falls

Credit: Bernard Spragg (Flickr)

Bowen Falls or also known as Lady Bowen Falls, is a must-see for every visitor to Milford Sound. The waterfall plunges 160m from a hanging valley into the head of Milford Sound and provides electricity for the Milford Sound township by feeding a small hydroelectric scheme. The Milford Walkway has been re-opened after being closed for 15 years four years ago.

The track starts with you taking a boat on the water just across from where the Wharf is. The experience begins as you move through a native bush filled with birdsong and makes its way up towards Mitre Peak – a famous mountain symbolizing one of New Zealand’s national tourist spots – giving you an experience of it as well.


Huka Falls

Huka Falls

Hukafalls is a place of wonder and depth, and it helps one feel at peace. An accessible bridge and footpath right at the spray-drenched top allow visitors to be right in front of this natural phenomenon that boasts 11 meters of free fall into a turbulent pool. This place has a calming effect on the soul.

For a glimpse of the falls, you can hike the Spa Park to Huka Falls trail for about an hour. The Huka Falls Visitors Centre is about 1.6 kilometers north of Taupō and is easily accessible via the InterCity bus service. The bus runs many times a day on a circuit of the local attractions.

This stunning waterfall is one of the most-visited natural attractions in New Zealand, and it is recommended sight for nature-lovers.


Mclean Falls

Mclean Falls

New Zealand, they all have one thing on their mind: pictures. Fortunately, there are many places in the area that will help you take excellent shots during your trip, such as Mclean Falls.

Mclean Falls is located in Catlins Conservation Park. It is actually composed of two separate cascades: Lower and Upper. Regardless of which waterfall you choose, it’s easy to reach a vantage point where multiple photos can be taken.

The hike from the parking lot was 40 minutes round trip, and it was pretty much spot on. The track was in pretty good condition. Recommend stopping here and enjoying the beauty of nature! Stunning scenery, amazing walk, and the place are just majestic.


Dawson Falls

Dawson Falls

Credit: Ulrich Lange (Wikimedia Commons)

Explore the Dawson Falls area of Egmont National Park with its fine array of natural and historical attractions, places, and activities. This is an easily accessible place in the country to visit when holidaying at home or staying overnight in the Stratford region.

Dawson Falls is a unique 18-meter high waterfall. Discovered in 1885 by the first European, Thomas Dawson, Dawson Falls is genuinely a one-in-a-kind water wonder. While driving up to Dawson Falls, enjoy the spectacular view beneath a canopy of twisted trees like snarled goblin arms reaching out of some fairytale.


Taranaki Falls

Taranaki Falls

Taranaki Falls Track is a favorite to many hikers who enjoy the outdoors. This journey will take you past various landscapes. The loop starts in Whakapapa Village, which is a beautiful and romantic place surrounded by mountains, including volcanic peaks.

Just around the halfway mark, you come to Taranaki Falls, A waterfall that falls nearly 65 meters from volcanic cliffs and into a pleasant pool below. The view also includes Mount Ruapehu and Mount Ngauruhoe, making it a stunning loop trail.


Maraetotara Falls

Maraetotara Falls

Credit: itravelNZ (Flickr)

Only 30 minutes up the road from Havelock North is Maraetotara Falls – a popular tourist attraction for locals and visitors.

From the car park on Maraetotara Road, you can get to the falls by heading down the wooden stairs and following the Maraetotara Historical Walk for about 10 minutes to the waterfall’s base. From this vantage point, a short two-minute walk will take you to an elevated viewing platform with views of one of New Zealand’s most beautiful waterfalls.

There is an awesome swimming hole at the waterfall’s base, so make sure to bring a towel if you really want to enjoy a dip. The heights of the falls are not ideal for swimming, but that doesn’t mean you can’t swim in them. If you have time, visit the historic Maraetotara Falls. You won’t regret it.


Marokopa Falls

Marokopa Falls

Marokopa Falls is located on Anga Rd, 15 km to the east of Marokopa and 31 km to the west of Waitomo.

At 35 m in height, this beautiful waterfall is often regarded as the most exquisite sight in New Zealand. An easy 20-minute return walk can take you past some beautiful native tawa and nikau trees to a viewing platform where you can stop and soak in the beauty of the Marokopa Falls.

The Marokopa River divides where people fish for trout into each side of the river, providing numerous places that are now popular thanks to this exotic way to have fun during weekends with family or friends. Marokopa Falls is said by locals to be one of the most beautiful falls in the country, and visitors come regularly.


Kitekite Falls

Kitekite Falls

Credit: russellstreet (Flickr)

In the western part of the famous Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, near famous Piha Beach and only a 30-minute walk from it, are Kitekite Falls.

This 40 meters multi-steps waterfall needs to be seen in person as the photos don’t do it justice. At the bottom of the waterfall, you’ll find a beautiful, big swimming hole that’s filled with crystal clear water, and it’s safe to jump into even on a hot day.

The Taranaki Falls Walk is a very easy 6km loop track that will take you around 2 hours to return.


Additional: Rere Rock Slide & Rere Falls

Rere Rock Slide

Credit: Jmc226 (Wikimedia Commons)

Just a short trip from Gisborne, you’ll find picturesque Lake Waikareiti. The nearby Rere Rock Slide is a thrilling skydiving-style attraction for any thrill seeker – and with an incredible 60-meter drop, you’ll be sure to slide down it again and again! 

This natural wonder is New Zealand’s best waterslide. Smoothed to a natural slide by a constant flow of water. It is one of the most incredible things you can do in New Zealand! The perfect place to let nature do the hard work of keeping your body cool during those long summer days.

On your journey to or from the rock slide, stop by the Rere Falls. One of the most charming waterfalls in New Zealand and the perfect place for a picnic area and refresh your body at the swimming pool near the falls.

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