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

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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.

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

Marokopa_Falls_024_01072010 - Marokopa Falls
Marokopa Falls

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. The first time was in November 2004 while 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.

In any case, visiting the year-round falls was pretty straightforward as 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. 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.

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_002_11192004 - The signposted trailhead seen from the pullout that was adjacent to Te Anga Road
Marokopa_Falls_002_01072010 - The bush track leading to Marokopa Falls
Marokopa_Falls_004_11192004 - Julie checking out Marokopa Falls from the damp lookout
Marokopa_Falls_007_11192004 - Marokopa Falls seen in November 2004
Marokopa_Falls_010_01072010 - Another look at the impressive Marokopa Falls
Marokopa_Falls_014_11192004 - A closer examination of Marokopa Falls in long exposure seen in November 2004


From the SH3 and SH1 junction at the south end of Hamilton (Hamilton was about 123km or 90 minutes drive south of Auckland), we drove about 67km south on the SH3 to the turnoff with SH37 (Waitomo Caves Rd). We then turned right onto SH37 and drive west. At about 8km from SH3 was the large car park for the Waitomo Caves. 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. Finally at about 30km west of Waitomo Caves (about 4km west of Mangapohue Natural Bridge) was the signposted pullout for Marokopa Falls.

We also drove northwards from New Plymouth (361km or 4.5 hours drive south of Auckland, or 352km or 4.5 hours drive north of Wellington). 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 (as described above) on SH37 for about 38km (30-45 minutes drive) to the Waitomo Caves.

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

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