International travel enthusiast and expat from New Zealand, currently living in Germany. https://indie-road.com
Published March 17th 2017
Splash into summer at these scenic waterfalls
To the South of Napier and just off the road which leads down to Ocean Beach are the Maraetotara Falls. This is a popular spot amongst the locals for an afternoon of relaxing by the pools and cooling off on those hot summer afternoons.
They are included as part of the Maraetotara Historical Walk but are easily accessible from the road and are only a short drive from Napier. As you approach the trailhead there is a small roadside car park on the right as you're driving South which is easily missed, so keep your eyes open. The walk to the falls is a gentle a scenic 10-minute stroll along flat land, next to the river, although this can get muddy in wet weather.
The waterfalls are fantastic to look at, but not quite as entertaining as watching all of the locals leap from the rope swings and the rocks into the pools. Obviously, you have to be accountable for your own health and safety if you decide to do this, but around to the left of the pool as you face the waterfalls is a little trail which leads to a rope swing and then onwards to the top of the waterfall where people jump and dive and flip much to the amusement of everybody watching.
If you're travelling to Ocean Beach it makes an excellent stop on the way or on the way back - just ensure you don't drive past the junction as is easy to do. Sometimes, in summer, it gets very crowded here which ruins some of the atmosphere, in which case you're better off driving to the beach to find some space and to cool off in the sea, but otherwise pull up the car, grab your swimmers and seize the moment.