Karekare Falls, New Zealand

Karekare Falls in May 2011

As I started thinking back to my New Zealand three years ago, I was trying to remember anything particular special about Karekare Fals. I suddenly remember that I almost gave up on actually visiting Karekare Falls. The drive heading toward the falls is just a tiny bit crazy.  Much of it barely more than the width of a single car, so I was constantly paying attention for any cars headed uphill. I made it to the area where Karekare Falls is, and was able to see the falls from afar (which isn’t really that distant from the road).

Trying to find parking, though, was a feat in and of itself. The whole area was extremely popular (and the falls weren’t necessarily the source of all of the popularity), and it was extremely difficult to find anywhere to get out. I couldn’t even find a place to turn around, and ended up continuing along the road for a way, which started narrowing and climbing uphill. I somehow found a place to turn around (which wasn’t easy), and I believe I ended up parking on the side of the road…

From wherever I parked, it wasn’t difficult to get to the falls. I don’t remember how far it was, but it was a short hike. And it’s pretty easy to see the falls. The falls are very nice at about 100′ tall or so. The falls may continue further upstream (and out of view from the base), and may approach 250′ or so. (Don’t quote me on that.) Along my trek, I also found a smaller waterfall slightly further downstream.


  1. Figure out how to get onto Piha Road (which would head to Piha, an amazingly beautiful place).
  2. When on Piha Road, turn onto Karekare Road. It’s about 3 km (2 miles) to the “parking” area for the falls.
  3. From here, you should be able to see the falls (some portion of it). Head toward there, following whatever trail leads to the base.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Distance of Hike: 0.35 miles round-trip
Height: 82′ (for lowest drop)

A waterfall downstream from Karekare Falls

Where in the World is Karekare Falls?


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