Spring has sprung which can only mean one thing – we’re calling time on that winter-long Netflix binge, throwing on some hiking boots and uncovering the serene vistas this beautiful country has to offer.
Just in time for the weekend, we’ve compiled a ‘treasure hunt’, if you will, of the most stunning (and often overlooked) waterfalls around Aotearoa. While we patiently await summer’s arrival, we’ve decided chasing waterfalls is the perfect weekend activity for those still-a-bit-nippy spring days.
Here, the five best waterfalls to visit this spring:
Huka Falls in Taupo
Maybe you aren’t concerned with numbers, but it is pretty impressive when you can get up close to and peer down upon 220,000 litres of water, blasting through the rocky terrain. Hike the Spa Park to Huka Falls trail which takes approximately one hour, winding through native forests towards the sound of rushing water. Situated on the outskirts of Taupo, Huka Falls can be accessed via frequent bus outings from Taupo Central.
Photo Credit: Great Lake Taupo
Kite Kite Falls in Waitakere Ranges
Nestled in the hills by Piha Beach, Kite Kite Falls has six drop sections of water which fall into a large lake-like pool which you can swim in if desired. The walking track begins at the end of Glen Esk Road and requires an intermediate level of fitness with a bit of rock climbing involved. Afterwards why not hit the beach and have a coffee at one of the cafes post-hike.
Photo Credit: Epic Little Missions
Bowen Falls in Fiordland
This stunning spot, located in Milford Sounds, can only be observed up close via cruise boat or kayaking (due to slippages having closed off the track to the falls). As difficult to get to as it may be, it is an unmissable location with multiple tracks surrounding the area as well as wildlife tours and overnight cruises.
Photo Credit: Trover
Devil’s Punchbowl Falls in Christchurch
Located about two hours from Christchurch in Arthur’s Pass National Park, the hike to the falls is a moderate one hour walk, with multiple stairs at one point – so bring lots of snacks to boost your energy!
Photo Credit: See The South Island NZ Travel Blog
Bridal Veil Falls in Raglan
Last but not least, about 15 minutes from Raglan lies a beautiful stream of water, hence the ‘veil’ label it has been given. This 10-minute walk through native forest, following the Pakoka River most of the way leads you to two viewing platforms, one from above and one from below the falls, to soak it all in.
Photo Credit: Raglan