Waiotemarama Falls

Kauri Coast / Hokianga, North Island, New Zealand

About Waiotemarama Falls

Hiking Distance: 1km round trip
Suggested Time: 30 minutes

Date first visited: 2004-11-08
Date last visited: 2004-11-08

Waterfall Latitude: -35.53089
Waterfall Longitude: 173.44023

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

Waiotemarama Falls (meaning “water of the moon” in Maori) was a petite 5m waterfall that provided Julie and I a very serene experience on its short bush walk.

We didn’t have to do the entire 3-hour loop comprising the Waiotemarama Bush Track to see this waterfall.

Waiotemarama_Falls_011_11072004 - Waiotemarama Falls
Waiotemarama Falls

However, Julie and I found it to be our waterfalling excuse to be in the vicinity of kauri trees, which we would end up seeing further down the Kauri Coast in the Waipoua Forest.

By the way, Kauri Trees were like the kiwi analog to the Sequoia Trees (giant redwoods) that we were used to seeing back home in California.

This further reinforced to us the wonderful diversity and surprises that waterfalling trips like this could provide.

Waiotemarama Falls Walk

Anyhow, in terms of the walk, we left the car park (see directions below) and proceeded past the swinging gate to get onto the Waiotemarama Bush Walk.

Waiotemarama_Falls_001_11072004 - A small waterfall behind the second swinging gate on the way to Waiotemarama Falls
A small waterfall behind the second swinging gate on the way to Waiotemarama Falls

The waterfall track coincided with the Waiotemarama Bush Track so we followed it most of the way to the reach the falls.

The track gently paralleled the gurgling stream, which we can imagine could quickly become a raging torrent under rainier conditions.

After a few minutes of walking, we encountered a second swinging gate that opened onto a spur track that briefly led us to a tiny waterfall fringed by dense foliage.

Continuing on the main track, the path undulated and ultimately descended into the shaded reaches of Waiotemarama Falls.

Waiotemarama_Falls_007_11072004 - The Waiotemarama Bush Track, which we took to the waterfalls
The Waiotemarama Bush Track, which we took to the waterfalls

We had to scramble over boulders and moss-covered logs to get a closer look, but we had to be careful as this pursuit was wet and slippery.

Overall, Julie and I spent around 45 minutes or so on the track, but the signs indicated that it was only a 15-minute walk between the car park and the falls.


Waiotemarama Falls resides in the Waima and Mataraua Forests near Opononi in the Northland 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.

Waiotemarama_Falls_004_jx_11072004 - The start of the Waiotemarama Bush Walk
Waipoua_Forest_002_11072004 - Julie on the Waiotemarama Bush Walk
Waiotemarama_Falls_006_11072004 - Context of that small waterfall we encountered along the way from the second swinging gate
Waiotemarama_Falls_008_11072004 - The undulating Waiotemarama Bush Walk as we got closer to Waiotemarama Falls after having passed beyond the small waterfall
Waiotemarama_Falls_016_11072004 - We scrambled to get right in front of Waiotemarama Falls shown here
Waipoua_Forest_001_11072004 - Julie back on the Waiotemarama Bush Walk as we were headed back to the car

Even though there was more than one way of getting to the Waiotemarama Falls, we’ll just describe the way we did it.

From the town of Opononi (about 81km southwest of Kerikeri or 90km west of Paihia), we drove another 10.3km south along SH1 to the Waiotemarama Gorge Rd.

Turning left onto the mostly unsealed road, we then continued north for a little over 3km to a small car park with a sign indicating the Waiotemarama Bush Walk as well as a swinging gate at the start of the track.

Going in the other direction from Whangarei, we would drive on SH14 west to the junction of SH12 and SH14 in the Kaipara District (formerly Dargaville).

Then, we’d take the SH12 north for the next 76km to Waiotemarama Gorge Rd on the right, and follow the unsealed road north as stated above.

Note that the drive on SH12 also passed through the Waipoua Forest, where Julie and I were allowed to get close to some of the giant kauri trees that might be the biggest ones left standing in the world.

For further context, Paihia is about 3 hours drive north of Auckland along SH1. Whangarei is about 2 hours drive north of Auckland also along SH1.

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Tagged with: waiotemarama, waipoua, kauri, opononi, hokianga, northland, north island, waimamaku, new zealand, waterfall, dargaville, whangarei

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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.
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