About Maruia Falls
Maruia Falls was one of the few wide river waterfalls in New Zealand that we were able to experience somewhat closely from its bottom.
The other waterfall that came to mind in this category was Raukawa Falls on the North Island, but that one only let us see the falls from a distance.
In any case, this roughly 9-11m tall waterfall was said to have grown 8m after the Murchison Earthquake in 1929.
During that event, a landslide diverted the watercourse towards an old riverbed, which according to a driving guide book was also lowered by 8m as a result of the earthquake.
So given its drop, it was said to be a pretty runnable kayak though we didn’t see it during our visit in late 2009.
Given that this waterfall sat on the Maruia River, I didn’t think we needed to worry about its flow year-round.
From the well-signed roadside car park, our visit was a breeze as we were able to briefly walk to a couple of viewing spots.
The first one was near a picnic area overlooking the top of Maruia Falls.
A second way of experiencing the falls was at the end of a short walkway that led us down to the banks of the Maruia River where we were able to see the falls as you see pictured at the top of this page.
With the gray and overcast conditions, the falls actually blended in with the rest of the sky.
So while our photos weren’t remarkable under such conditions, we did notice a handful of people who did some off trail scrambling to get up to the very brink of the Maruia Falls.
Thus, they provided a nice contrast to the falls in my photos as well as provide some sense of scale of its overall size.
I did entertain the thought of doing what they did, but I ultimately decided against it.
Maruia Falls resides in the Murchison area near Murchison in the Nelson/Tasman region of South 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.
To reach Maruia Falls, we’ll pick up the driving directions from Westport since that was where we started our drive.
We then headed south on SH65 for just under 11km to the well-signed car park on our right.
Going in the other direction, the signed car park for Maruia Falls would be on the left of the road heading north on SH65 about 65km north of Springs Junction.
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