Carew Creek Falls

Lake Brunner / near Arthur's Pass National Park / near Greymouth, West Coast Region (South Island), New Zealand

Rating: 2     Difficulty: 2
Carew Creek Falls
Carew Creek Falls (also referred to as just Carew Falls) was an early morning waterfall adventure for me as I left from the town of Greymouth. Typically, I'd imagine this could also be a detour from the Arthur's Pass area since it sat not far off the Arthur's Pass Highway (SH73). This reportedly 30m waterfall had a bit of a rivuleted appearance given the rough but polished underlying rock that give the falls such texture. What I remembered most about this waterfall was that it faced the southwestern shores of Lake Brunner while it was also a quiet and serene experience (though my early morning start might have had something to do with that).

From the signposted car park (see directions below), I then proceeded to walk through a forested path for about 15 minutes in each direction. I think the guidance from the Department of Conservation (DoC) said it was an hour return, but I'd imagine that given the time it took me to do it, their pace would be more of a real leisurely stroll. After getting through the bush, I then got onto an open rocky surface where I found myself in front of the pleasing waterfall. I did have to exercise some caution to minimize the risk of a slip and fall, however. But I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the falls then turning around to get a look back at Carew Creek making its way down to Lake Brunner.

When I returned to the car, I did a little bit of some more exploring around the Lake Brunner Lodge area, and that was when I realized that this waterfall could also be seen (somewhat) from around the lodge though I'd imagine even better contextual views of the falls could be had from being on Lake Brunner itself (provided you could find a way to get access to a boat).

Directions: The way I drove to Carew Creek Falls was by going south from the SH6 and SH7 junction in Greymouth for about 18km to the Kumara Junction (I recalled there was one scary bridge where both cars and trains were sharing that bridge during this drive!). Then, I turned left onto SH73 (Arthur's Pass Highway) and drove about 7.5km to the town of Kumara, where just at the east end of town was the turnoff for the Kumara-Inchbonnie Rd. Turning left onto that road, I then followed it for about 21km (some parts of it were unsealed) before reaching the signposted trailhead just past the Brunner Lodge.

Alternatively, I could have also gone 45km east of the Kumara Junction on SH73 then turning left onto Lake Brunner Rd then leave the road for Kumara-Inchbonnie Rd after 5.5km. Then, take the Kumara-Inchbonnie Rd for another 11.5km to the trailhead on the left just before the Brunner Lodge.

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About 61km north of the Kumara Junction on the SH6 was the Pancake Rocks at Punakaiki
About 57km east of Kumara along the SH73 was the Otira Viaduct, which was an instrumental piece of engineering to make the traverse more reliable as a supply route between Christchurch and Greymouth
About 41km south of the Kumara Junction was the attractive and tranquil Lake Kaniere due southeast of Hokitika
Signpost at the start of the Carew Falls WalkSignpost at the start of the Carew Falls Walk

Going through the bush track to get to Carew Creek FallsGoing through the bush track to get to the falls

Long exposed look back at the rivuleted Carew Creek FallsLong exposed look back at the rivuleted Carew Creek Falls

Looking downstream along Carew Creek in the direction of Lake BrunnerLooking downstream along Carew Creek in the direction of Lake Brunner

Looking over the Lake Brunner Lodge towards part of Carew Creek FallsLooking over the Lake Brunner Lodge towards part of the falls

Looking away from the Brunner Lodge towards the shores of Lake BrunnerLooking away from the Brunner Lodge towards the shores of Lake Brunner

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For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.

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