How to chase waterfalls in New Zealand

The land of the long white cloud is known for the impeccable beauty of the nature and the adventure-filled opportunities that come with it.

Prior to coming to New Zealand I would day dream about hiking to the top of mountains and jumping off waterfalls. And after six months in the most beautiful country in the world, I have turned those dreams into reality.

One does not have to go far before finding a waterfall in New Zealand to live out all your waterfall dreams. And one of the best places to do so is in Hawkes Bay, which is located on the east side of the North Island.

Chasing the tallest waterfall:

To find the tallest waterfall in the region, a trip to the Shine Falls is in order. An hour and a half journey north of Napier, this waterfall does not disappoint.

Located near the Boundary Stream in Putorino, the 58-metre high waterfall is an hour return hike from the starting point at Heayes Access Road (but allow more time for the swimming you will probably be doing!) Starting the trek through farmland and  rocky hills, the start of the path resembles the grand landscape of Austria.



However, it is not long before the lush lowland forest trek comes into sight and you are surrounded by kanuka, kawakawa, tui’s, and turkeys (yes, turkeys).


The trek to the waterfall is mostly up and down a lot of hills. At one point the trek can be turned into a six-eight hour trek up to the top of the waterfall once reaching the bridge crossing the river.


Once at the bridge the power of the falls can be heard and only a few short minutes separate you from your waterfall dream!


Because the Shine Falls is so remote, it should be no surprise that you can enjoy the entirety of it in complete solitude! And experiencing the waterfall is not complete until going underneath it. Just be prepared for some icy cold water!


Chasing the best waterfall to jump off:

While swimming under waterfalls is nothing short of spectacular, nothing quite compares to jumping off one. The best place to do that is in Havelock North at the Maraetotara Falls. This quick five minute historic walk will lead to an epic waterfall that you can rope swing or jump into.

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Even though this is the most popular swimming spot among locals, it isn’t rare that you can also enjoy this waterfall in seclusion.


One you experience the rush of jumping off the waterfall, expect delays in trying to depart the Maraetotara Falls as you will most likely want to keep repeating the experience.

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But the good news is, that in New Zealand, the next waterfall is never really too far away.





4 ways Havelock North will steal your heart.

From the mountain top views, remote beaches and some of New Zealand’s best wine, Havelock North offers top notch experiences for the next getaway.

1. Te Mata Peak

This unique 399m rock formation allows for stunning 360 degree views of Hawke’s Bay.


Te Mata Peak holds a significant historical meaning to the Maori people, in which their legends say that former chief Te Mata O Rangokako died trying to eat his way through the rocks to win over his love. Today, the Te Mata Peak depicts the outline of his body.


With views of the Tuki Tuki river and surrounding vineyards, the Hawke’s Bay coastline and Bluff Hill in Napier, hiking through the Te Mata Peak is a a must-do experience.


Offering trails for all levels of hiking, Te Mata Peak can be enjoyed with a brief thirty minute walk to a three hours return trip with unique vantage points.


2. Ocean Beach


Nothing beats a dip in the ocean after a tough hike on the Te Mata Peak. Only a fifteen minute drive from the prominent rock formation, Ocean Beach offers a remote ocean experience unlike anywhere else in the region.


Ocean Beach is only accessible by an off-road path. And with Cape Kidnappers as the backdrop, beach-goers, surfers and horseback riders can enjoy a solitude afternoon soaking up the sun and the salt.



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There is no better way to end the day in Havelock North than by indulging in some of New Zealand’s best wines at the surrounding vineyards. Placed  all around the Tuki Tuki River region ,you will have your pick of vineyard indulgence for the night.

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4. Be the first person in the world to watch the sunrise

Being on of the furthest East coastlines in the world, Havelock North gets bragging rights for being one of the first cities to watch the sunrise every day. Whether it is from the top of Te Mata Peak or on the sand dunes of Ocean Beach, there is no better way to start the day.