About Bridal Veil Falls
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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