Local Escapes

8 Epic Auckland Waterfalls You Can Actually Visit

By Alice Rich
27th Jan 2022

While TLC told us not to, sometimes it’s good to venture away from the rivers and lakes that you’re used to. Lucky for us, there are a fair few waterfalls to chase near Auckland that are ideal for tramps and picnics.  

PLEASE NOTE: As tempting as it may be, swimming or submerging yourself in waterfalls and swimming holes is not encouraged, find out why it's better to keep out. If you really must dip your toes, check the water quality that day first.

Kauri is critically important to New Zealand’s ecosystem and it is increasingly vulnerable. It is important to note that the Waitakere Ranges have a rahui (exclusion zone) across the entire park and we recommend that this is respected and you do not visit them. Click here to find out about kauri dieback and about how you can help and do your part.

So without further ado, here are the best waterfalls you can visit around Auckland.

Oakley Creek Falls

Waterview

There’s a waterfall in Auckland Central? Say whaat? Yup, you don’t have to do much chasing to check out this six-metre waterfall. Oakley Creek runs 11 kilometres through the likes of Mount Roskill, Mount Albert and Avondale. In the Waterview section of the creek, you’ll discover Auckland’s only natural waterfall. You heard it here first.

Mauku Waterfall

Patumahoe

For all things pretty head to Wrights Watergardens—the picturesque gardens are like something from Alice in Wonderland. There are ponds, winding pathways, flowers on flowers and—you guessed it—a waterfall. Mauku Waterfall is best enjoyed from the garden’s summer house #weddinggoals.

The cascading waterfall at Karekare falls looks beautiful.Karekare Falls

Karekare

Karekare Beach is about an hour's drive away from Auckland CBD so once you're there you should definitely make the most of it and check out the Karekare Falls which is a mere five minutes from the car park. The Taraire Tramping Track to the top of the falls is currently closed due to kauri dieback but you can still revel in the magic at Opal Pool Stream Cascade at the fall's base. 

Hunua Falls

Hunua Ranges

Located in the Hunua Ranges these falls are some 30m high and can be accessed via the Hunua Falls Lookout Walk or the Falls Upper Lookout Walk. Many of the other tracks here are closed due to kauri dieback so be sure to stick to the marked path. Swimming isn't recommended but it's a great place for a picnic on the large grassy area with the falls front and centre and toilet facilities nearby.

Lucas Creek Waterfall looks oh so inviting.Lucas Creek Waterfall

Albany

Walk 10 minutes up a creek off Albany Highway and you'll stumble upon a rushing waterfall that looks like it's come straight out of a fairytale. There's also access to a lookout via a concrete path beside the bridge over Lucas Creek. To catch this fall at its most impressive, visit after there's been decent rain. 

Wainamu Falls

Bethells Beach

A trip to this stunner takes planning as it's a two-hour trek and the weather has to be just right (without enough recent rainfall the falls disappear completely). You'll need to take the Lake Wainamu Track which you can get to by walking along the Waiti Stream riverbed or up over the nearby sand dunes. Follow the path to the Wainamu Falls and a couple of swimming holes. 

Kitekite falls in the autumn.Kitekite Falls

Piha

You've probably been to Piha, maybe even attempted to scale Lion Rock, but did you know there's a gorgeous cascading waterfall nearby? The track to Kitekite Falls is boardwalk-based (to protect local kauri) and has two water crossings that require a bit of rock hopping. Grab a walking stick to help your balance—the rocks can get slippery! With a variety of viewing spots from which to view the falls—and take a million pics let's be honest—the walk to and from the falls is equally delightful.

Kohuroa Stream Waterfalls

Leigh

If you're looking to be wowed, over and over again, head to Kohuroa Stream. Access is via Matheson Bay Bush Walk which will take you about 40 minutes to walk, return, with several waterfalls along the way. There's even a swimming hole, complete with a rope swing, but proceed at your own risk.

Extend your adventuring with a stay at one of Auckland's best hidden baches.

Image credit: Oakley creek by agcreations, Karekare falls by Auckland Council, Lucas Creek Waterfall by Fred Yang, Kitekite Falls by Ronnie Li.

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