Must see waterfalls in New Zealand

Updated on Jan 25, 2024 | New Zealand eTA

Chasing Waterfalls in New Zealand - New Zealand is home to almost 250 waterfalls, but in case you are looking to begin a quest and go water-fall hunting in New Zealand, this list could help you start!

Bridal Veil Falls

The falls are at a height of 55m are also known as Waireinga Falls is set between banks covered with sandstones and green algae. The fall gets its name from its look which resembles the veil of a bride. The river that creates this beautiful fall is the Pakoka river.

It is one of the most visited tourist spots on the Waikato walking track and there are well-maintained and established platforms to get great views of the falls! This fall is popularly visited by people to swim during the summer season as the falls drop to form a pool surrounded by the forest!

Location – 15 minutes drive from Raglan, North Island

Devil’s Punchbowl Falls

The towering height of 131m of the falls makes for an amazing spectacle for tourists. The walk to the base of the falls is a great hike and it a famous trail in the National Park. The falls are surrounded by the stunning Alpine landscape of the National Park making the entire scenery picturesque. The falls drop to a height of almost 400m as there are multiple streams of it as well.

Location: Arthur’s Pass National Park (South Island)

If you are in South Island, you must not miss Queenstown.

Purakaunui Falls

The 65ft tall falls are known for their unique three-tiered shape and are a popular image on New Zealand’s postcards! The short walk from the car park of the Forest Park through the beech and podocarp forests will make the entire experience highly worthwhile! There are picnic tables and restrooms very close by for you to spend a leisurely day here relaxing and taking in the beauty of the falls!

Location –Catlins Forest Park, South Island

Huka Falls

Huka Falls

They are the most iconic waterfall in New Zealand and certainly the most captured waterfall. At a height of 11m, they might not enthrall you but the water flows at 220,000 litres per second making it one of the most powerful waterfalls, so swimming in these falls are out of the question! The mineral-rich river Waikato narrows down right before the fall and forms a river gorge. The falls are also beautiful to look at with its turquoise colour making it look like being in fairy-tale land. There are many scenic walks and mountain biking tracks close to the falls and to get an up-close look you could take a jet boat ride.

Location – 10 minutes drive from Lake Taupo, North Island

Remember that New Zealand eTA Visa is a mandatory requirement to enter New Zealand as per New Zealand Immigration, you can avail of New Zealand Visa on New Zealand eTA Visa webiste for stays of less than 6 months. In fact, you apply for New Zealand Tourist Visa for short stays and sight seeing.

Bowen Falls

The fall is set at a height of 161m and is one of the contenders for the highest waterfall in New Zealand. It is a permanent waterfall that can be seen throughout the year. The falls are located in one of the most loved and scenic locations in New Zealand which is Milford Sound. A cruise or a scenic flight across Milford Sound is the best ways to view this fall. The famous Mitre Peak is visible from the falls as well.

Location – Fiordland, South Island

Thunder Creek Falls

The height of the falls is at 96 ft and it drops up to a height of 315ft is a must-visit location when travelling along the Haast Highway. The falls are created by glaciers over the years which make them roar and thunder especially during winter. They are high and narrow and a spectacle to watch, it is a short walk from the parking lot and the viewing decks give you a great spotting of the falls.

Location: Mount Aspiring National Park (South Island)

Kitekite Falls

Kitekite Falls Kitekite Falls

The falls are also called Kitakita and are nicknamed ‘wedding cake’ falls due to the tiered shape in which they fall. The height of the falls is 40 metres which drop nearly 260ft and the scenic backdrop of the Waitakere ranges behind the falls is a beautiful sight. A small pool forms at the first tier of the fall and a very large pool forms in the end, making it an ideal location for a relaxing swim. The famous Piha beach close by is visited by tourists along with the falls and turns it into a day trip of relaxing and rejuvenating!

Location – West Auckland, North Island

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Marokopa Falls

This is the only other year-round falls in New Zealand set at a height of 35m drops to a height of 115 ft. The falls are very wide and rectangular. This falls will take you through a short walk through tawa and nikau forest, and you can see the falls from the viewing platforms. The falls are also a short drive from the famous Waitomo glow-worm caves.

Location – Waikato, North Island

Stirling Falls

These falls are also part of the famous Milford Sound at a height of 155m. The falls are set between the Elephant and Lion Mountains deep. You can take a cruise of flight across the fiord which gives one spectacular view of the waterfall.

Location – Fiordland, South Island

Sutherland Falls

It is located very close to Milford Sound. The waterfalls from the Lake Quill and can be seen on the way while on the Milford Track. The waterfalls are at a height of 580m and one of the highest waterfalls in New Zealand. The falls are only accessible through a scenic flight or cruise, but it is also visible on the third day of the Milford track hike.

Location – Fiordland, South Island

Tawhai Falls

The falls are set at a height of 13m and are a short drive from the visitor centre of the National Park. The falls are a must-visit for Lord of the Rings fans who will recognise it as Gollum’s Pools. The rock formations surrounding the fall closely resemble the trolls in the Hobbit and the sparkling blue waters of the falls.

Location – Tongariro National Park, North Island

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Mclean Falls

The waterfall comes from the Tautuku River, at a height of a 20m, it falls into a 70ft gorge and the shape resembles a bride-veil with multiple tiers, it is very close to the beautiful fiord region of Doubtful Sound. The surroundings of the falls are immensely green covered with shrubs and plants makes it a lovely trail for nature lovers.

Location – Catlins Forest Park, South Island

Whangarei Falls

The falls are at a height of 26m, and the aqua green pools formed at the end of the falls are a favourite spot for swimming! The waterfalls are encompassed by parks, bushes, and plenty of greenery on all sides making it a paradise for nature lovers!

Location –North of Whangarei city, North Island

Wairere Falls

The waterfall is the tallest in the North Island as it sky-scrapes at a height of over 153m and there is a majestic view of the Kaimai ranges. The falls drops to over 500ft making it a marvelous spectacle to watch. It is located in the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park. The falls can be reached by taking on a beautiful yet tiring hike through the park.

Location – Waikato, North Island

Rere Falls

Rere Falls Rere Falls in Gisbore New Zealand

The falls are located on the Wharekopae river and form a curtain-like waterfall which falls down a cliff of 33 feet height. A popular tourist attraction close to the falls is the Rere rockslide which is a natural waterslide.

Location – Near Gisborne, North Island

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