The Waitakeres are full of waterfalls, and we’ve been on a mission to see as many as possible over the past few weeks. I’ve rounded up four of the most famous tracks we conquered.
Fairy Falls: Two-hour loop with stream crossing
This tramp starts at the Fairy Falls Carpark on Scenic Drive (between Piha Road and Mountain Road). The trail descends through the rainforest to follow the Fairy Falls Stream — with plenty of opportunities to jump, wade, or tiptoe wooden planks across the water. You’ll see the Upper Falls first, and eventually, you’ll be at the base of the Lower Falls where you can sit on the rocks to take it all in. From here, we took the loop trail option, and headed up an incredibly muddy hill. It did have nice views of Auckland City, but maybe next time we’ll just double back so we can do the fun obstacles twice.
Mokaroa Falls: Two falls for the price of one
From Horsman Road, a short 40-minute trail through Goldie Bush leads to a platform overlooking the falls. Take the staircase down to Mokaroa Stream, cross using some stepping stones, and you’ll be standing between two beautiful waterfalls. You can continue following the stream for a long walk, or go right back the way you came. Afterwards, stop by Phil Greig’s Strawberry Gardens in Kumeu for handmade ice cream as a reward.
Kitekite Falls: Hike to the top for a quick dip and amazing view
This was by far our favorite of the four waterfall tracks. Close to Piha beach, the trail starts at the end of Glenesk Road. A 45-minute walk down a gravel path will take you to the waterfall’s base. In the summer, this would be an amazing place to swim! But the best part comes after another 30-minute climb to the top of the falls. I took a little dip in a freezing pool just before the waterfall starts to drop – so worth it for the view of the valley!
Karekare Falls: Just a quick five-minute walk
Not much to say about this one! You can park at Karekare Beach, walk up Lone Kauri Road, and on the left you’ll see the short trail to down to the base of the falls. Then head to the beach for a walk through black sand, with mountain views, and the sound of the rough, crashing waves.