Hunua Falls

Hunua Ranges, North Island, New Zealand

About Hunua Falls

Hiking Distance: almost roadside
Suggested Time: 5-10 minutes

Date first visited: 2004-12-03
Date last visited: 2010-01-10

Waterfall Latitude: -37.06867
Waterfall Longitude: 175.08706

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Hunua Falls was the last waterfall we visited on each of our two trips to New Zealand in November-December 2004 and in December-January 2010.

I don’t know why it has worked out that way, but it always seemed to be a fitting waterfall to visit to cap off our epic trips to the Land of the Long White Cloud.

For starters, this was a pleasant 30m plunge waterfall nestled deep in the Hunua Ranges that we found to be very easy to visit.

Hunua_Falls_012_01092010 - Hunua Falls
Hunua Falls

Apparently, this waterfall was also shown in the old TV series Xena: Warrior Princess so it certainly caught the eye of even filming crews.

That said, it seemed like much had changed around the waterfall since our first trip in 2004.

I recalled how much of a quiet experience as it seemed like Julie and I were either the only ones here or amongst a handful of people that were there when we first showed up.

We noticed lily pads, reeds, and daffodils by the plunge pool of Hunua Falls, and it didn’t seem like a likely place to go to swim despite the size of the plunge pool.

But over five years later, we saw a completely different scene with dozens of people around and in the plunge pool while the lily pads and daffodils were gone (see photo above).

There were even some people who swam right up to the turbulent base of the falls for a bit of the hard shower.

Accessing Hunua Falls

Hunua_Falls_003_01092010 - Hunua Falls and reflection as seen from the footbridge over the Hunua Stream
Hunua Falls and reflection as seen from the footbridge over the Hunua Stream

From the large car park (see directions below), we had a choice of which path to take.

We first crossed the bridge across the Hunua Stream where we got to see the falls reflected where the stream was calm.

Once we got to the other side of the bridge, we then turned right and followed the short path to access the plunge pool where we once saw the lilypads and daffodils.

We managed to walk along the plunge pool to get all the way to the cliff where we got interesting profile views of Hunua Falls.

We also managed to get a closer look at the individuals who managed to swim to the base of the falls from this profile position.

When we returned to the car park, we then noticed another path that took us to the plunge pool on the opposite side of the Hunua Stream.

Hunua_Falls_038_01092010 - Looking through the Masterpiece Theatre frame towards Hunua Falls on the other side of the car park. We only took advantage of this on our second visit to Hunua Falls
Looking through the Masterpiece Theatre frame towards Hunua Falls on the other side of the car park. We only took advantage of this on our second visit to Hunua Falls

While making our way over there, we noticed there was a masterpiece theatre frame with Hunua Falls in the background.

We saw something like this at the Arataki Visitor Centre along Scenic Drive just before it entered the Waitakere Ranges, but I’d argue that the subject of this frame was far more interesting.

Overall, each of our visits to the falls didn’t take long though there were many other trails that went away from the waterfall.

Since we didn’t go on those tracks, can’t comment more on where they would lead to.


Hunua Falls is administered under the jurisdiction of the Auckland Regional Council. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Hunua_Falls_027_12022004 - Looking at the bridge over the Hunua Stream as seen from the big car park
Hunua_Falls_001_12022004 - Hunua Falls reflected in the Hunua Stream as seen in December 2004
Hunua_Falls_016_12022004 - Hunua Falls fronted by lily pads, reeds, and daffodils back in December 2004
Hunua_Falls_007_01092010 - Julie on the short walking track to get to the plunge pool of Hunua Falls after crossing the bridge
Hunua_Falls_029_01092010 - The walking path leading around the plunge pool and closer to the cliff responsible for Hunua Falls in January 2010
Hunua_Falls_037_01092010 - Side profile view of Hunua Falls with some people chilling out close to its plunge
Hunua_Falls_021_01092010 - In 2010, the plunge pool around Hunua Falls lacked the lily pads and reeds, and we noticed more rocks like this
Hunua_Falls_013_12022004 - Frontal view of the quiet Hunua Falls seen in December 2004
Hunua_Falls_022_01092010 - Frontal view of Hunua Falls seen in January 2010
Auckland_029_01092010 - After our last visit to Hunua Falls, we chilled out at the Auckland harbour front to have one last dinner before heading for home


From the Auckland CBD, we had to make our way south to the SH1 (we took the on-ramp from Green la E). We then went south on the Southern Motorway (SH1) for about 24.5km to the Papakura exit (Hingaia Rd exit). Then, we turned left to go onto Beach Rd, which eventually became Settlement Rd after crossing the Great South Rd, and after 2.6km from the motorway exit, we then turned right onto Hunua Rd (next to the Sir Edmund Hillary School.

After about almost 13km on Hunua Rd, we then turned left onto White Rd (there was a sign at the turnoff indicating Hunua Falls, which also helped). We then took White Rd for a little over a kilometre before turning right onto Falls Rd, and we followed this road to its end after 2.3km where there was a large car park for Hunua Falls as well as Kokako Lodge.

L-shaped right to left sweep spanning the plunge pool and ending up at the top of the falls

Bottom up sweep from across the busy plunge pool

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Tagged with: hunua, auckland, north island, new zealand, waterfall, xena, edmund hillary, papakura

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