There is a magic about a waterfall, that compares to no other. The sound, the prospect of fairies (or tales of) and the cool fresh water makes for a healthy family adventure. Pack your picnic, take the plunge and explore our list of six Auckland waterfall beauties.
Oakley Creek Falls (Oakley Creek Reserve). Pictured above.
Welcome to the only waterfall in the city! Situated alongside Great North Road, this hidden spot has a whopping 6-metre curtain of water that slides into a pool. You’ll have to take a dip, if you can brave the cool water, after walking the quick 15 minute loop track.
Te Maketu Waterfall (Maketu Pa Cemetery Reserve)
Just a 15-minute drive from the Manukau Centre, this cascading waterfall is calling you! It’s perfect for a plunge, and is a well-loved summer-spot. After a short 20-minute track walk through the picturesque bush, you’ll find this hidden gem.
Omeru Reserve (Omeru Pā Scenic Reserve)
What’s better than one waterfall? A succession of three waterfalls on one easy 15-minute track. The Omeru Falls, Waitangi Falls and Waitangi Stream Cascade are quaint, but no less beautiful falls, surrounded by various spots to stop off. There’s a big barbeque area, and heaps of pools to splash around in.
Vivian Falls (Harker Reserve)
This waterfall is a wee drive into South Auckland, but still well worth the time. The track only takes 15 minutes to walk or meander, which means you can all spend more time admiring this stunning spot. Surrounded by beautiful velvety moss rocks and serene silent trees, this waterfall is straight out of a fairy tale (keep an eye out for Swan Lake!).
Karekare Falls (Waitakere Ranges Regional Park)
This 30-metre waterfall is sure to take the whole family’s breath away. Kids won’t have to whinge and wait long for this beaut, the waterfall is only a 5-minute walk from the road. According to the NZ Herald, Karekare Falls is the top swimming spot … in all of New Zealand! (A little bit of trivia: Karekare was the location for the award-winning, visually stunning film ‘The Piano’.)
* Due to the current Rāhui, you are all to walk in to the falls, but are not able to go beyond that point.
There is currently a Rāhui on the Waitakere Ranges to protect the Kauri from dieback. You will not be able to visit the following waterfall:
Kitekite Falls (Waitakere Ranges Regional Park)
Yet another waterfall – though no less spectacular – runs through the Waitakere Ranges, only this waterfall is a colossal 40-metres tall! This three-tiered marvel falls into a vast blue pool which can definitely house the whole family for a dip. We suggest this track might be more suitable for older kids, as the walk is easy but long (a 45-minute walk to the waterfall, and 1.5-hour return track). Also, it can be a slippery site, so keep both eyes on your kids.