New Zealand Waterfalls


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New Zealand Waterfalls were sprinkled about in a country that spanned its North and South Islands, each of which featured a distinct character and variety in both its culture and its landscapes. In fact, the country was featured in the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings movies - and it let the world in on its best kept secret. For prior to the famous trilogy, I'd bet not many people knew of the awe-inspiring Nature that was on offer here. But once the movies thrust the kiwi brand of Middle-Earth to the worldwide public conscience, the secret was out.

Indeed, the country boasts a tremendously diverse collection of scenic features such as...

  • Serene Native Rainforests
  • Colorful Volcanic Moonscapes
  • Soothing Sandy Beaches
  • Unique Thermal Wonderlands
  • Mythical Fiords
  • Towering and Snow-covered Alpine Mountains
  • ...and of course, waterfalls

I haven't even mentioned the friendly and laid back people, the Maori culture, and small town rural charm!

Like its diverse landscape, the collection of New Zealand Waterfalls encompassed almost every imaginable variety. They ranged from the short, powerful, yet colorful Huka Falls to the tall and majestic Sutherland Falls. There were waterfalls that ran hot like Kakahi Falls, and there were giant waterfalls fed by the melting snow amidst the spine of New Zealand's South Island like Devil's Punchbowl Falls. There were also New Zealand Waterfalls near beaches such as Kitekite Falls as well as falls in dense native rainforests like Mokau Falls and silent fiords like Browne Falls.

The list goes on and on, and you'll have to give New Zealand some time to explore to understand why it was the ideal choice for the idyllic, J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired Middle-Earth. In fact, we loved New Zealand so much that we published A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Indeed, our first trip to New Zealand in 2004 was so transformative to Julie and I that it essentially opened up the flood gates to more travels as our waterfalling adventures went global from that point on.

Browse through these pages to virtually experience Middle-Earth and its misty curtains. See if this naturesque country can have the same effect on you as it did us...





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OUR FAVORITES

Some of the waterfalls in this region were considered amongst our favorites and thus have made one or more of our top 10 lists. To see which of these lists have featured waterfalls from this region, see below!



Top 10 Waterfalls in New Zealand




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WATERFALL SUBREGIONS

Below are the waterfall subregions that we've been to. Click on a subregion for more details about the area and its waterfalls.



Waipunga Falls North Island: The waterfalls found here range from coastal hangouts beneath Kauri trees not far from the city to technicolor volcanic landscapes and geothermal features. Even though this island is the more populated of the two major islands, we still found that most of the attractions remained unspoiled, and this was especially true of the waterfall attractions.

Click here to read more about the area and see its waterfalls.
Click here to jump directly to the area's waterfall list.



Bowen Falls South Island: The waterfalls found here mostly tumble and plunge from towering snowy peaks throughout the Southern Alps, but we also found others in places such as the wind-swept Catlins, the moist and glacier-laden West Coast, and even near the beaches of Abel Tasman. The waterfalls ranged in character with as much diversity as the wild extremes in the weather that we had experienced here. Perhaps that explains why this island is the less populated of the two main ones, but that also meant wildlife sightings as well as the unpredictability of Nature keeping us on our toes when it came to planning a trip through here.

Click here to read more about the area and see its waterfalls.
Click here to jump directly to the area's waterfall list.



Rere Falls Reader Submissions: We can't possibly visit every single waterfall in New Zealand. Fortunately, there are readers kind enough to share their knowledge and experiences by writing up their own guides for those waterfalls that we haven't been to.

Click here to submit your own write-up.
Click here to jump directly to the reader submissions waterfall list.



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MORE INFO

Are you researching for an upcoming trip to this region? We've got additional information concerning non-waterfall attractions, our own travel stories, reviews of books and maps, or even writeups concerning the logistics of what it takes to come here and what to expect! Check out the following links...



A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls (Johnny T. Cheng): This one-of-a-kind 288-page themed travel guide is an invaluable companion, trip planner, and keepsake. With each waterfall covered, you will find...
  • full color photos
  • detailed color maps
  • author ratings and lists
  • detailed driving directions
  • interesting facts and tidbits
  • index and color references
Fore Word Magazine 2006 Book of the Year Finalist [BUY NOW!]




The Kauri Coast New Zealand's Other Attractions: There's more to the Land of the Long White Cloud than waterfalls. If you're curious about the country's other natural attractions or you're suffering from fatigue of New Zealand Waterfalls, have a look! [read more]




The Tongariro Crossing New Zealand Travel Stories: Read about the stories behind the World of Waterfalls. See New Zealand through our eyes while becoming more informed about this beautiful country. In this section, you will find travel journals that will leave you laughing, smiling, curious, or just about all the emotions you'd expect when you're traveling to an unknown place. [read more]




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THE WATERFALLS LIST

If you already have a waterfall in mind that you'd like to see details about, browse the list below...


NORTH ISLAND

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SOUTH ISLAND

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READER SUBMISSIONS

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Cold doesn't even begin to describe it
August of 2007, my dad and I took a short trip to NZ, which I've always wanted to do. We were the only ones booked on the trip around lake Taupo and Tongiriro park that day...[more]


Rere Falls
Rere Falls are in North Island, to the west of Gisborne and to the south of SH2. Joyce and visited these falls towards the end of March 2010...[more]


Maungaharakeikei Falls, North Island, New Zealand
The little known Maungaharakeikei Falls (pronounced Mong-ah-hah-rah-kay-kay) are probably the North Island of New Zealand's least known major falls...[more]


Billygoat Falls, New Zealand
In the Kauearanga Valley near Thames at the start of the Coromandel peninsula is a mighty falls named Billygoat Falls. The Department of Conservation states...[more]


Bigger than most people think
Just wanted to mention that the bottom 3 tiers of Kite Kite Falls are the most viewed but have attached a pic of the whole waterfall. There is another...[more]


Wairere Falls
I was at these waterfalls near Matamata during early April of 2007, my first visit to New Zealand. I found them purely by accident while trying to find somewhere to park for the night...[more]


Wairua Falls
We visited them back in April 2006, and with beginners luck found them with a reasonable flow. I have since read that a...[more]


Waitangi Falls
These are the Waitangi Falls in the Ruakituri Wilderness area. The only way to get to these falls is to walk in. It is a no fly area. The Ruakituri River...[more]