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Omanawa Falls, Tauranga Overview

The Omanawa Falls are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of New Zealand, considering the heavy amount of falls that exist in the country. The waters are crystal clear and have a tealish tinge, and the temperature of the water stays mostly chilly. The 35 meter tall waterfalls drop down into a small water body surrounded by lush green forests, making it appear like a natural oasis. The official paths down the falls have been closed off, but they might be reopened in the late summer of 2019.

Ever since the falls have been sealed off, there has been a significant lack of tourists, but it does not deter many from making the trip down to the falls to bathe in its beautiful waters. Since it is highly risk to hike down the unofficial track, it is advisable for tourists who don’t have a lot of experience with climbing or hiking or are physically unable to do so, to not go to the bottom of these waterfalls. Locals in and around the region are always willing to help with the trip, but it is still extremely risky to follow the rough path, so tourists usually visit these falls at their own risk.

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How To Reach Omanawa Falls

  • The Omanawa Falls lie at a distance of half an hour from Tauranga, and the viewing point for the waterfalls can be reached by a short walk. The track which leads visitors to the point over the falls has been closed off because of safety reasons, which means it is officially not allowed for tourists to go to the premises.
  • There is also a tunnel which takes visitors to the bottom of the falls, but that too has been closed off.
  • Nevertheless, the falls are still visited by a small number of people, although it is highly risky to do so. A rough path that goes over the hill and the tunnel leads tourists to the Omanawa Falls. 
  • To reach the Omanawa Falls, tourists travelling by private or rented vehicles would have to travel east on the State Highway 29 for around 14 kilometers and then turn into the Omanawa Road, which would lead to the Falls in about 10.4 kilometers.
  • There is no parking available at the location of the waterfalls itself, but cars can be parked at the main road which leads to the entrance of the walking track where the board says “Omanawa Falls”, from there all the travelling has to be done on foot at one’s own risk. 

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