Bridal Veil Falls

Raglan, North Island, New Zealand

About Bridal Veil Falls

Hiking Distance: 2km round trip
Suggested Time: 45 minutes (to base); wheelchair (to top)

Date first visited: 2004-11-20
Date last visited: 2004-11-20

Waterfall Latitude: -37.90892
Waterfall Longitude: 174.89663

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Bridal Veil Falls was one of the more picturesque waterfalls we had seen in the North Island.

This particular waterfall was located near the surfing town of Raglan (which helps to differentiate this from the other waterfalls of the same name in New Zealand or in the world for that matter).

Bridal_Veil_Falls_005_11192004 - Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls

What made the falls stand out was that its waters seemingly jumped off a 55m cliff then spent most of its time in air before crashing into its deep plunge pool below (see photo above).

In fact, the Maori name of the falls was Waireinga, which was said to mean “leaping waters”.

Indeed, this name seemed to be far more descriptive of what a visitor would likely see here than the very common name of Bridal Veil Falls.

Accessing Bridal Veil Falls

Our visit to Waireinga (or Bridal Veil Falls) was pretty straightforward.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_001_11192004 - Julie starting the walk to Bridal Veil Falls
Julie starting the walk to Bridal Veil Falls

From the signposted car park (see directions below), we briefly walked onto a bush track that then reached a T-junction.

We first went left at this junction to get right up to the top of the waterfall.

Afterwards, we then went the other way on the T-junction and immediately encountered the next overlook.

This overlook yielded the view of Bridal Veil Falls that you see in the photo at the top of this page.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_026_11192004 - The somewhat steep descent through the bush track leading to the plunge pool opposite Bridal Veil Falls
The somewhat steep descent through the bush track leading to the plunge pool opposite Bridal Veil Falls

From this angle, we could best appreciate the plunging nature of the falls.

We also noted the depth of both the cliff and the advanced recession of the underlying alcove, which suggesting that this was indeed an older waterfall.

After having our fill of this lookout, we then continued on the 10-minute trail (20 minutes return) leading down steps through the bush.

It went all the way down to a dock-like observation area right at the fringe of the plunge pool opposite the waterfall.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_040_11192004 - Direct look across the base of Bridal Veil Falls
Direct look across the base of Bridal Veil Falls

When we showed up here in the late afternoon in November 2004, we saw a rainbow arcing across its base just above the plunge pool, further adding colour to the scene.


Bridal Veil Falls resides in the Raglan area in the Waikato region of North Island, New Zealand. It is administered under the jurisdiction of the Department of Conservation. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Bridal_Veil_Falls_020_11192004 - Looking over the brink of Waireinga Falls or Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal_Veil_Falls_006_11192004 - Contextual view of Bridal Veil Falls or Waireinga Falls from the upper lookout deck
Bridal_Veil_Falls_023_11192004 - A more focused examination of the entire plunge of Bridal Veil Falls or Waireinga Falls from the upper lookout deck
Bridal_Veil_Falls_053_11192004 - Direct view of Bridal Veil Falls with a partial rainbow

We drove to Bridal Veil Falls from the city of Hamilton so that’s how we’ll describe the driving route here.

From the SH1 and SH23 (Massey St) in Hamilton, we drove west on SH23 (becoming Whatawhata Rd) for about 36km.

Next, we turned left onto Te Mata Rd (I believe there was a signpost for Bridal Veil Falls at this turnoff) and followed it for about 9.5km towards a fork.

We kept left at this fork to get onto Kawhia Rd, and then followed Kawhia Rd for about 4km to the signposted car park at the trailhead.

For geographical context, Hamilton was about 90 minutes drive (125km) south of Auckland.

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Tagged with: hamilton, raglan, auckland, surf, wairenga, waikato, north island, new zealand, waterfall

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Bridal Veil Falls has some hidden history January 2, 2012 11:57 pm by Roger Martyn - My Grandfather and in turn my father farmed land that backs onto the reserve that the Bridal Veil Falls is situated, the same farm that I was brought up on. My father related the following story to me when I was a just boy, some 40 years ago. In pre-European times, a Maori warrior from… ...Read More

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Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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