New Zealand is a country of beautiful landscapes, coastlines, mountains, lakes and of course waterfalls. Who doesn’t love waterfalls?! The views, the sound of falling water and the beauty of surrounding nature – waterfalls are perfect for outdoor adventures. There are many scenic waterfalls all over New Zealand, and in this post we collected 5 Best Waterfalls near Auckland.
We’ve seen many waterfalls around Auckland and this is our top pick of waterfalls to visit not far from the city. All of these waterfalls are within 1 hour drive from Auckland. So, if you are planning a trip to Auckland and want to explore its surrounding nature and best waterfalls then read on.
Parking: Park at the end of Falls Road, Hunua 2583.
Walking: 5 mins to reach the waterfall from the carpark.
Also in the area: Multiple walks in the regional park; Cossey Dam and Reservoir.
Hunua Falls waterfall is located in Hunua Ranges Regional Park. This 30 meters high waterfall with a swimming hole is very popular during summer.
There is a car park at the end of Falls Road with toilets and a nice picnic area. It’s an easy 5 minute walk from the car park to the waterfall.
After enjoying the views from the base of Hunua Falls waterfall take a bit longer walk – Hunua Falls Loop Track. It will take you through the forest and onto a lookout platform where you can admire the waterfall from a different point. Then it goes around and back to the base of the waterfall, making it an easy 20 minute loop walk.
Hunua Ranges Regional Park has many walking tracks in the native New Zealand forest. Check out the map of Hunua Ranges if you want to explore more of this regional park.
We recommend walking to Cossey Reservoir and Dam. You can walk there via the 8km long Cossey-Massey Loop Walk from Hunua Falls. Alternatively you can drive to the end of Cossey Access road and then take a short walk from there.
Parking: Park at the end of Horsman road, Waitakere 0782 (please note, there are no toilet facilities there).
Walking: 40 mins one way (1.5 km).
Also in the area: Muriwai beach, Waitakere Ranges.
Mokoroa Falls is located west of Auckland not far from Muriwai beach. While the waterfall is not tall – only 11m high – it’s quite wide and impressive after a rainy season. After a dry summer though the waterfall can be quite thin.
Park your car at the end of Horsman road, Waitakere. Mokoroa Falls Track starts here. It’s a 1.5 km track in the bush that leads to a viewing platform over the waterfall. There are actually two waterfalls – Mokoroa Falls and right next to it – small Falls of Houheria Stream.
Walk down from the lookout platform to the base of the waterfall. It’s a great place to have a picnic or just a short break before going back to the car park.
Mokoroa Falls can also be reached via Goldie Bush Walkway and Mokoroa Stream Walk. That will involve walking up the stream and crossing the water in places. However, at the moment Goldie Bush Walkway is closed until further notice. Check the Department of Conservation website for up to date information on the track.
After visiting Mokoroa Falls, drive to Muriwai beach. It’s a scenic black sand beach popular for walking, birds watching and surfing.
Parking: Park at the end of Glen Esk Road, Piha 0772
Walking: 30 mins one way (1.3 km).
Also in the area: Piha beach, Waitakere Ranges.
Kitekite Falls waterfall is located west of Auckland in Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. There are many pleasant walking tracks in Waitakere Ranges and Kitekite Falls track is one of them. It’s an easy 30 minute walk to the base of the waterfall with a nice view over Kitekite Falls along the way.
The track starts with the remains of a huge tree that children always like to explore. There are also few information boards (about the bush and wildlife) along the way to keep older kids interested.
Kitekite waterfall is really beautiful. It has few cascades with a total water drop of 40 meters. At the base of the waterfall is a nice pool suitable for swimming. If you’re visiting in summer bring a swimming suit – it’s an unforgettable experience to swim under a waterfall.
I remember the times when we could come to Kitekite Falls and have it all to ourselves. But in the last few years this track and waterfall became a very popular place and now there are always lots of people. It doesn’t make this place less beautiful of course, but just less peaceful and tranquil than it used to be.
After spending time at Kitekite Falls, drive to the famous Piha beach to enjoy scenic views, more walks and a swim if you travel in summer.
Parking: Park at Omeru Reserve carpark off SH16 (1890 Kaipara Coast Highway, Kaukapakapa 0984)
Walking: 10 mins to reach the waterfall from the carpark.
Also in the area: Parakai Springs; Omeru Scenic Reserve.
Next waterfall in the ‘5 Best Waterfalls near Auckland’ is Omeru Falls. It’s located north-west of Auckland in Omeru Scenic Reserve. There are in fact three waterfalls in the reserve – Omeru Falls, Waitangi Falls and Waitangi Stream Cascade.
It’s an easy 10 minute walk to Omeru Waterfall from the carpark and another 20 minutes to Waitangi Waterfall. There are few swimming holes at the base of waterfalls and cascades in Omeru Scenic Reserve. So, don’t forget your towel and swimming suit if you’re travelling in summer.
There is also a big green area with picnic tables and BBQ – nice for family outings or just as a place to have a snack.
You can even take a dog with you to Omeru Falls. Not many Auckland Regional Parks and Reserves are dog friendly, but as long as you keep your dog on leash you can take them to Omeru Scenic Reserve.
Parking: Park at the end of Karekare Road, Karekare 0772
Walking: 7 mins one way.
Also in the area: Karekare beach, Waitakere Ranges.
Another waterfall in Waitakere Ranges Regional Park is Karekare Falls. This beautiful 25m high waterfall is located not far from Karekare beach.
Park the car at the end of Karekare road, walk back to the main road and follow the signs to Karekare Falls. It’s an easy 10 min walk to the base of Karekare waterfall.
In summer you may find people swimming at the base of Karekare Falls. Several years ago Karekare Falls topped the list of favourite swimming holes in New Zealand according to AA Directions magazine.
If you prefer swimming in the ocean, then after admiring Karekare Falls head to Karekare beach nearby. Follow the signs to Karekare beach from the parking spot, it’s a 10 minute walk along the stream to the scenic Karekare beach.
I hope you enjoyed our list of 5 Best Waterfalls near Auckland. Let us know in the comments if you have visited them and which one is your favourite!
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