Wentworth Falls

near Whangamata / Coromandel Peninsula, Waikato Region (North Island), New Zealand

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 3
Wentworth Falls or Wentworth Valley Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Wentworth Falls (also called Wentworth Valley Falls) was one of the taller I happened to encounter while touring the Coromandel area. It was said to be 50m tall, which was comprised of two angled leaps. The view you see at the top of this page was from the official lookout, but I had also read that it was possible to reach the bottom of the falls even though I couldn't find the path during my visit. This was the first waterfall that we visited after our wedding in Whitianga ("FIT-tee-ahnga"). We probably should have seen Waiau Falls first since it was closer, but we had completely overlooked it and ended up seeing this waterfall on the way towards Tauranga.

Right from the get go, I was greeted with signage suggesting that the hike was going to be 1 hour and 15 minutes, but it didn't say if that was round trip or in each direction. I ended up taking close to two hours return so I'm sure the signage really meant one-way. I managed to shave off some time from the overall predicted time because I hiked quickly and solo, and I didn't want Julie to be waiting in the car for me for too long.

For the first few minutes, I was walking through mostly open space that probably were more like grassy clearings. There were several paths leading away from the main track (probably leading to camping areas, picnic areas, or even abandoned gold mines as there appeared to be quite a bit of a rich history about gold in the area). As I continued following the signs, the track then narrowed and followed alongside the Wentworth River towards the falls for the next 3km or so.

About 25 minutes from the start of the track, I noticed an abandoned gold mine entrance right besides the main track. I dared not enter due to the possibility of the mine shafts collapsing, but it looked to be sealed anyways. About a third of the way through the forested track, I encountered an unbridged stream crossing (of the Young Stream) where hiking sticks aided the boulder hop to get across without drenching the feet. The path continued uneventfully through more bush until I made a second crossing (of the Campbell Stream this time), which was also fairly long and required a bit of nimbleness along with the aid of my trekking pole to stay dry.

After the second stream crossing, the track undulated some more then started climbing. Before the climb became really steep, there was a signposted turnoff indicating the lookout of Wentworth Falls. Shortly after taking this spur, I was at the viewpoint that yielded the photo you see at the top of this page. Even though I went looking for a way to get to the bottom (maybe I didn't look hard enough), I didn't find it. Back on the main track, the steep climb eventually started to flatten out as I was now looking over the top of the waterfall. The view from up here was a little anti-climactic, and it was the spot where I turned back to return to the trailhead.

According to the maps, the track would keep going until it would eventually lead to Marototo Road in another 10km.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

The neighboring town of Whangamata was on the southern end of the Coromandel Peninsula, which featured gorgeous white cliffs and white sands against the Bay of Plenty and Firth of ThamesThe neighboring town of Whangamata was on the southern end of the Coromandel Peninsula, which featured gorgeous white cliffs and white sands against the Bay of Plenty and Firth of Thames
A little over 30km south of Whangamata was the town of Waihi, which itself was also near the attractive Owharoa FallsA little over 30km south of Whangamata was the town of Waihi, which itself was also near the attractive Owharoa Falls
The Cathedral Cove seemed to have grown immensely in popularity over the years, and I guess with beaches like this, it's understandable why this is the caseThe Cathedral Cove seemed to have grown immensely in popularity over the years, and I guess with beaches like this, it's understandable why this is the case
Further north of Whitianga was the very quiet Otama Beach, which the wonderful hosts at the Villa Toscana recommended to us before we would head south to Wentworth Falls later in the afternoonFurther north of Whitianga was the very quiet Otama Beach, which the wonderful hosts at the Villa Toscana recommended to us before we would head south to Wentworth Falls later in the afternoon
The concrete ford near the end of the Wentworth Valley RoadThe concrete ford near the end of the Wentworth Valley Road

Signage at the trailhead for Wentworth FallsSignage at the trailhead for Wentworth Falls

Walking through an open area on the way to Wentworth FallsWalking through an open area on the way to the falls

Signage at the start of the actual bush walk to Wentworth FallsSignage at the start of the actual bush walk for the falls

On the shady and lush bush track for Wentworth FallsOn the shady and lush bush track for the falls

This was the first stream crossing that I encountered en route to Wentworth FallsThis was the first stream crossing (over Young Stream) that I encountered en route to the falls

This was the second stream crossing that I encountered en route to Wentworth FallsThis was the second stream crossing (over Campbell Stream) that I encountered en route to the falls

A sign pointing the way to the established overlook of Wentworth FallsA sign pointing the way to the established overlook of the falls

Looking at Wentworth Falls from the overlookLooking at the falls from the overlook

Looking over the top of Wentworth Falls before heading backLooking over the top of Wentworth Falls before heading back

Following the signs pointing the way back to the start of the Wentworth Falls TrackFollowing the signs pointing the way back to the start of the track

On the way back to the car park, I decided to pay a little more attention to this abandoned gold mine entranceOn the way back to the car park, I decided to pay a little more attention to this abandoned gold mine entrance


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Starting from the town centre of Whangamata (pronounced "fahng-ah-mah-TAH"), we headed south on Port Rd towards its junction with Tairua Rd (SH25). Then, we drove for about 1.6km until we then turned right onto Wentworth Valley Rd, which was mostly unsealed. We followed this road for another 5km, traversing a concrete ford along the way, to its end near the Bushland Park Lodge.

Whangamata was about 75km south of Whitianga and 88km north of Tauranga as well as 30km north of the town of Waihi. For further context, Whangamata was a solid 2 hours drive (159km) east of Auckland.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



Click here for the full World of Waterfalls map





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TRIP REPORTS

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




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Wentworth Falls: Access Update April 2010 
My wife Joyce and I visited this waterfall on 7th April 2010. Do not be be deterred by Johnny's mention and pictures of stream crossings. The track …

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