Marokopa Falls

Waitomo Caves, North Island, New Zealand

About Marokopa Falls

Hiking Distance: 600m round trip
Suggested Time: 20 minutes

Date first visited: 2004-11-20
Date last visited: 2010-01-08

Waterfall Latitude: -38.26177
Waterfall Longitude: 174.8508

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Marokopa Falls was Julie’s kind of waterfall as it featured a satisfyingly classic block shape with a reported height of 35m.

For us it was a no-brainer to make the extra drive west of the famous Waitomo Caves (well known for harbouring glow worms) to visit what could very well be the North Island’s prettiest waterfall.

Marokopa_Falls_024_01072010 - Marokopa Falls
Marokopa Falls

Along the way, we saw the attractive Mangapohue Natural Bridge, which also had rocks in the area full of fossils of ancient sea life.

In addition, there was also the Piripiri Caves (which we didn’t visit) so there was definitely a plethora of sights in the area.

We actually visited this waterfall on two separate occasions, where the first time was in November 2004 and the second time was in January 2010.

It was reassuring to see that not much had changed with this waterfall over the years, which was how it should be.

Marokopa_Falls_004_11192004 - Context of the lookout for Marokopa Falls and the persistent mud around the fencing
Context of the lookout for Marokopa Falls and the persistent mud around the fencing

In any case, visiting the year-round Marokopa Falls was pretty straightforward.

We went on a short 20-minute return walk from the roadside pullout to the damp lookout yielding the photo you see at the top of this page.

On both times we showed up at the lookout, the ground at the lookout was a bit muddy.

This was undoubtedly from a combination of rain and the spray from Marokopa Falls itself attesting to the volume of the Marokopa River.


Marokopa Falls resides in the Waitomo 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.

Marokopa_Falls_001_01072010 - At the start of the short walk to Marokopa Falls to start our visit in January 2010
Marokopa_Falls_002_01072010 - The lush bush track leading to Marokopa Falls during our January 2010 visit
Marokopa_Falls_008_01072010 - Julie checking out Marokopa Falls from the familiar lookout during our January 2010 visit
Marokopa_Falls_010_01072010 - Another look at the impressive Marokopa Falls during our January 2010 visit
Marokopa_Falls_022_01072010 - Broad view of Marokopa Falls with a fern fronting the view as seen during our visit in January 2010
Waitomo_012_01072010 - Looking back into the exit of the Waitomo Cave at the end of our tour
Mangapohue_Natural_Bridge_021_11192004 - Looking through the backside of Mangapohue Natural Bridge; a very worthwhile stop on the way to Marokopa Falls
Mangapohue_Natural_Bridge_023_11192004 - That rock near the Mangapohue Natural Bridge contained a lot of fossils of ancient oysters
Marokopa_Falls_007_11192004 - Marokopa Falls seen in November 2004
Marokopa_Falls_014_11192004 - A zoomed in examination of Marokopa Falls in long exposure seen in November 2004
Marokopa_Falls_018_11192004 - Portrait view of Marokopa Falls during our November 2004 visit

The nearest city to Marokopa Falls was Hamilton so we’ll describe the driving direction from there.

We’ll also cover the driving directions from New Plymouth.

Driving from Hamilton to Marokopa Falls

From the SH3 and SH1 junction at the south end of Hamilton, we drove about 67km south on the SH3 to the turnoff with SH37 (Waitomo Caves Rd).

We then turned right onto SH37 and drove west.

At about 8km from SH3 was the large car park for the Waitomo Caves, and SH37 became Te Anga Rd beyond the caves.

About 26km west of Waitomo Caves was the start of the short walk to the Mangapohue Natural Bridge.

About 2km further west (28km west of Waitomo Caves) was the Piripiri Caves.

Marokopa_Falls_002_11192004 - The pullout area by the trailhead for Marokopa Falls
The pullout area by the trailhead for Marokopa Falls

Finally at about 30km west of Waitomo Caves (about 4km west of Mangapohue Natural Bridge) was the signposted pullout for Marokopa Falls.

Driving from New Plymouth to Marokopa Falls

We also drove northwards from New Plymouth.

That involved driving 173km on SH3 (it took us on the order of 2.5-3 hours) until we reached the junction with SH37.

Then we went west on SH37 for about 38km (30-45 minutes drive) to the Marokopa Falls.

Marokopa_Falls_001_11192004 - Looking at a couple of signs pointing the way to Marokopa Falls with the Te Anga Road (SH37) next to the pullout at the trailhead
Looking at a couple of signs pointing the way to Marokopa Falls with the Te Anga Road (SH37) next to the pullout at the trailhead

For geographical context, Hamilton was about 123km or 90 minutes drive south of Auckland.

New Plymouth was about 361km or 4.5 hours drive south of Auckland, or 352km or 4.5 hours drive north of Wellington.

Find A Place To Stay

Right to left sweep of the falls and stream

Tagged with: waitomo, te anga, mangapohue, hamilton, otorohanga, te kuiti, waikato, north island, new zealand, waterfall

Visitor Comments:

Got something you'd like to share or say to keep the conversation going? Feel free to leave a comment below...

No users have replied to the content on this page

Share your thoughts about what you've read on this page

You must be logged in to submit content. Refresh this page after you have logged in.

Visitor Reviews of this Waterfall:

If you have a waterfall story or write-up that you'd like to share, feel free to click the button below and fill out the form...

No users have submitted a write-up/review of this waterfall

Have you been to a waterfall? Submit a write-up/review and share your experiences or impressions

Review A Waterfall

Nearest Waterfalls

The Waterfaller Newsletter

The Waterfaller Newsletter is where we curate the wealth of information on the World of Waterfalls website and deliver it to you in bite-sized chunks in your email inbox. You'll also get exclusive content like...

  • Waterfall Wednesdays
  • Insider Tips
  • User-submitted Waterfall Write-up of the Month
  • and the latest news and updates both within the website as well as around the wonderful world of waterfalls

How To Build A Profitable Travel Blog In 4 Steps

Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

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.
Read More About Johnny | A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls.