About Raukawa Falls
Raukawa Falls was an attractively wide waterfall that Julie and I saw from afar.
It was said to be about 15m tall and 50m wide, which made this block-type waterfall stand out to us.
As you can see from the photo above, we couldn’t get a closer look at it, which was a shame because the distant views kind of made the falls feel smaller than it really was.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the distant look-but-don’t-touch view, we certainly would have bumped up its scenic rating score.
Nevertheless, its lookout was roadside so we easily coupled this experience with the opportunity to stretch and take photos while driving the twisty road between Wanganui and Tongariro National Park.
As tempting as it was to think that Raukawa Falls was on the Whanganui River (the longest navigable river in New Zealand, which even had a National Park dedicated to it), the falls actually belonged to the Mangawhero River.
Even though the watercourse wasn’t as famous, it still flowed year-round so the falls itself would last all year as well.
Finally, in terms of the viewing experience, we learned during our January 2010 visit that the waterfall gets the best lighting (if it’s sunny) during the morning.
In the afternoon, the falls tended to get shadows contrasting with harsh sidelighting, which we learned the hard way from our visit in November 2004.
Raukawa Falls resides around Kakatahi near Ohakune in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of North Island, New Zealand. It did not seem to have an authority overlooking them. Nonetheless, you can still seek out information or inquire about the area as well as current conditions by visiting the Department of Conservation website.
From the SH3 and SH4 junction in the city of Wanganui, we drove north on SH4 for about 60km.
The well-signed roadside pullout for the viewing deck of the falls was on the left (west) side of the twisty highway about 4km north of the Fields Track turnoff.
The pullout would be on the right side of the road going in this direction.
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