Karekare Falls

Karekare Beach / Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, Auckland Region (North Island), New Zealand

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1
Karekare Falls
Karekare Falls (pronounced just like the town Kerikeri in Northland) was an attractive waterfall that I made a detour for after visiting Kitekite Falls back in December 2004. The height of this falls was said to be 25m, but as you can see from one of the photos below, there was actually a lot more to this waterfall than the main drop you see pictured above. In any case, the falls was my waterfalling excuse to be near the very quiet Karekare Beach, which was apparently one of the filming locations of the "The Piano."

From the small car park where I started the short walk (see directions below), I walked for about 100m up the hill on Lone Kauri Rd before seeing a signpost denoting the official start of the track to the falls on my left. Then, I walked for about five minutes down a track descending towards the base of Karekare Falls and the moss- and fern-covered rocks fringing both the plunge pool and the cliffs underlying the waterfall. There was a picnic table here, which kind of allowed me to take somewhat awkward long exposure photos (since I didn't bring my tripod for this little excursion).

Given the lightflowing nature of the waterfall, I'd imagine it would flow best in the Winter and Spring months.

Directions: We'll pick up the driving description from the junction of Piha Rd and Scenic Dr in the Waitakere Ranges. For directions on getting there from the Auckland CBD, see the Kitekite Falls page.

About 11km west of the junction was the Karekare Rd on the left (south). Turning onto Karekare Road, the road quickly became narrow (about 1.5-lanes) as it descended for about 1.5km in a series of blind turns where I definitely had to be careful and move slowly. Once I was at the bottom of the descent, I then drove for the next 1.5km to the signposted car park to my right. It was just before where Karekare Rd became the Lone Kauri Rd.

The walking track was near the junction of Lone Kauri Rd and La Trobe Track.

Going in the other direction from Kitekite Falls near Piha Beach, drive a kilometre on Glenesk Rd back to Seaview Dr, then turn left and drive for about 4km as Seaview Dr became Piha Rd. A short distance after Piha Rd turned away from the beach and towards the Waitakere Ranges, turn right onto Karekare Rd and follow the directions as provided above.

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After hiking to Karekare Falls, I made a brief walk towards the quiet Karekare Beach following this stream
Between Kitekite Falls and Karekare Falls was this gorgeous view of Lion's Rock and Piha Beach on Piha Rd
Karekare Falls was about an hour's drive from the Auckland CBD, which was where this photo was taken of the Sky Tower
After a short walk on Lone Kauri Rd, I saw this signpost and trail leading to Karekare FallsAfter a short walk on Lone Kauri Rd, I saw this signpost and trail leading to the falls

As I was descending towards the base of Karekare Falls, I got this view of it, which showed that there was much more to this waterfall than its main dropAs I was descending towards the base of Karekare Falls, I got this view of it, which showed that there was much more to this waterfall than its main drop

Looking right across the plunge pool at the front of the main drop of Karekare FallsLooking right across the plunge pool at the front of the main drop of the falls

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

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