Whether you’re an outdoors nut, a remote control jockey, or somewhere in between, the sight of a waterfall will awaken a sense of wonder. Being from Canada, and having seen Niagara falls multiple times, I’d imagined that the wonder would diminish, but was proved pleasantly wrong when I discovered Wainui falls in Abel Tasman (national park in the north of New Zealand’s south island). Definitely not comparable in size to Niagara, Wainui still had its own effect of awe. Situated on the west side of Abel Tasman national park, Wainui is a nice spot to stop for an afternoon.
About 20K E of Takaka is where you can find the trailhead:
Walking across some farms,
you eventually come to a forest area where the trail leads in. It’s not too hard or far of a walk to get to the falls:
There are a few areas where the trail gets a bit rough, and toward the end it does slope up steeply, but nothing too difficult.
On the way, you will also encounter a suspended bridge, but don’t worry – it’s quite solid and easy to cross:
After around 50 minutes of trekking, you get to the falls. It’s a fantastic sight. When we went, the sunlight shone off the water creating a green hue. The water was super clear and looked beautiful. This, combined with the thunderour roar of the cascading falls created an unbeatable venue for lunch.
The pool was cold – somewhere between a witch’s teat and a geisha’s heart. I jumped in and swam toward the waterfall, but the current was too strong to get closer than a few feet away. Nevertheless, it was very refreshing and melted away the fatigue accumulated over the last few days of travelling.
Wainui falls is easily doable in a few hours if you are up in the Abel Tasman area. Here’s where it is: