Rainbow Falls is popular visitor destination in the Bay of Islands and Kerikeri.  However not many are aware that it is one of five waterfalls – all within walking distance of central Kerikeri, and equally spectacular. Visiting Kerikeri?  Why not collect all five!

Rainbow Falls & Wharepuke Falls

These are the most visited falls and rightly so.  The well maintained path starts of the far side of the foot bridge that links the Stone Store and historic mission house reserve, to a delightful picnic park and Rewa’s Village – a recreation of a pre-european Maori village.

The walk is around 1 hour along the Kerikeri River, passing Wharepuke Falls (wide and low), the remains of an early historic hydro power station. It then finally emerges to reward the walker with the stunning 27m Rainbow (Waianiwaniwa) Falls at the far end. You don’t feel like walking?  There is a car park and a path to walk down to view the falls located at the far end.

Wairoa Stream – ‘Te Wairere’ falls and the ‘secret’ waterfall

This treasure has only recently been reopened for public access, due to the wonderful voluntary work by local groups Vision Kerikeri and Rotary.  It has been hidden from view since the 1950’s when it was a popular swimming and picnic spot. It became lost as residential development removed access, and the ‘queens chain’ of riverside access became overgrown.

The track starts between the pou (Maori carved columns) that mark the entrance to the Kororipo Pa in the Kerikeri Basin, but heads to the right along Wairo Stream.  Dappled with light under the native flora, you occasionally need to scramble over tree roots and rocks, so wear good walking shoes.

The ‘secret’ waterfall is far more dramatic than the name suggests.  It has a sheer rock face, and as you can stand quite close, it feels much more impressive than the statistics probably suggest.  Ten minutes from the track’s end you arrive at the 20m Te Wairere falls, where a seat awaits for you to sit and reflect.

The track finishes just outside Kerikeri township. Our suggestion: have lunch or a cup of your favourite brew in town, then enjoy the downhill stroll back to your car.

Charlie’s Rock

Charlie’s Rock is Kerikeri’s worst kept secret – to those under 20 years old anyway. We suggest you search YouTube to see what the fuss is about.

Charlie’s Rock is a short walk starting at the Kerikeri Croquet Club, on Landing Road, north of the township.  The easily accessed top of the waterfall, combined with the deep swimming hole beneath it make it a mecca for the young and young at heart in the warmer months.  At 12 meters high, it’s probably a formidable leap of faith when standing at the top. No, we haven’t jumped ourselves!

Visiting Kerikeri’s waterfalls

The waterfalls are all accessible year round, and worth visiting in any weather.  The only time we recommend our guests to be careful is after heavy rainfall, when the approaching tracks can become muddy and slippery.  There are however still options to visit safely, and they look at their most spectacular after rainfall.  If you’re interested in collecting our waterfalls, please mention this when booking!