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Oh hey, it’s me again just here to ramble on about yet another waterfall. Before you consider hitting that little red X in the corner, though, you might want to stick around as Marokopa Falls is a goodie! One of the best, in fact. 

It’s no secret that New Zealand is one of the most geographically stunning countries on this here planet we call home, and you don’t even have to visit the country yourself to work that out (seriously, you don’t, you can just check out these 27 photos of the North Island, it’s cheaper than a plane ticket). New Zealand landscapes are plastered absolutely everywhere – in movies, on adverts, in print, you name it. It’s like the Universe is sending us all subliminal messages that New Zealand is, ya know, the greatest (after Wales, of course) and we should all move there when the rest of the world turns to dust. 

Lake Taupo in the Waikato region of New Zealand's North Island
An example of New Zealand being just lovely – Lake Taupo

The downsides of New Zealand being so bloody magnificent, though, is that it’s popular…veeeeery popular. Not only is it an extremely favoured stop on the typical backpacker’s round-the-world route, it’s also a “once-in-a-lifetime” destination for so many people around the world who, ya know, do eventually visit once in their lifetime. 

New Zealand’s popularity isn’t necessarily a bad thing as, for now at least, the country is getting on just swell. It’s clean, there’s not too much pollution, and over-tourism hasn’t quite hit just yet. The only problem with New Zealand’s popularity, combined with its teeny tiny size, is that it’s hard to find the lesser-known places. It’s hard to get your Marco Polo on and feel like you’re discovering untouched places no fellow traveller has yet to feast their eyes upon.

Okay, so that’s an over-exaggeration. I don’t think there’s a single place on this planet left untouched at this moment. But you know what I mean, right? That feeling you get when you’re visiting somewhere nobody else you know has been yet, somewhere with less than 5000 photos on Instagram (hashtag third world problems?), somewhere that gets a mere line or two in Lonely Planet and not even a photo? 

Well guys, I found one. 

And yes, it is mentioned in passing by Lonely Planet, it does have 43,000+ results on Google and it’s a pretty well known spot to people in the area, but that’s not to say that it didn’t have the feeling of total seclusion and being, dare I say it, off the beaten track

Marokopa Falls

Often referred to as New Zealand’s most beautiful waterfall, Marokopa Falls are situated about 30km outside of Waitomo, famous for its many, many glowworm caves.

The drive to Marokopa Falls isn’t the easiest and, if you’re prone to car sickness consider taking some sort of medication before setting off. And if you’re not prone to car sickness, still consider taking some sort of medication before setting off as the roads are windy and loopy and look like snakes. I’ve never suffered with travel sickness…until I came to New Zealand. 

From Waitomo, you need to take State Highway 37, otherwise known as Te Anga Road, for around 30km, or until you see the sign for Marokopa Falls. 
There’s also a field of sheep right opposite, which may or may not be helpful in finding the right location. 

Example of the very twisty roads in New Zealand, Te Anga Road outside of Marokopa Falls
The road right outside Marokopa Falls – I feel sick just looking at it.

To get to the Falls from the roadside, you first need to park your car (public transport is not an option, unfortunately!) in the designated parking area on Te Anga Road, and then walk the easy 10 minute decline down to the viewing point. Around half way along the path you’ll start to hear the gushing of the water, and as you turn the last corner and Marokopa Falls come into view, I promise you that there will be a collective gasp from you and your companions! 

Marokopa Falls, the most beautiful waterfall in New Zealand
The beautiful Marokopa Falls, Waitomo

At 35m high, Marokopa Falls isn’t the most monstruously-sized of waterfalls, but oh my is she a beaut!

If fairies and goblins were real, I imagine this is where they’d hang out, just chilling at the end of the rainbow. It reminded me a lot of Rivendell, the fictional Elven realm in Middle Earth which, incidentally, is exactly how I always imagined Heaven to look like. So you could say a visit to Marokopa Falls is a visit to Heaven? 

Despite Marokopa Falls falling suspiciously absent from a lot of backpackers’ New Zealand itinerary, it’s definitely somewhere you should tack on as a small half-day trip from Waitomo! 

Have you heard of Marokopa Falls before?

Planning your trip to New Zealand’s North Island? Check out these posts:

Have you ever heard of Marokopa Falls? Often referred to as New Zealand's most beautiful waterfall, it receives surprisingly few visitors! Check out this article to find out where exactly it is and how you can visit. #travel #NewZealand #waterfalls #NewZealandTravel


  1. Oooh this is gorgeous! I LOVE chasing waterfalls and this one is just so beautiful!

    How did you find out about it?

    • rhiydwi Reply

      An intense desire to actually do something on my day off, but not having enough time to travel more than 2 hours each way followed by EXTENSIVE googling of “free things to do in Waikato”. And voila, this beauty was hiding somewhere around the 3rd or 4th page of results! 😀

  2. I have to say, the Marokopa Falls look indeed absolutely beautiful. And also great to hear is that it is obviously still such a hidden jewel and not so well known yet. Even though the way to these waterfalls may not be the easiest, but from what I see and read here it definitely seems to be worth it. 5000 photos only on instagram is truly not that much. Even better that you share your impressions of that great spot, thanks a lot for this, Rhiannon!

  3. I’d never heard of the Marokopa waterfalls but I’m curious about the glow worms! We’re planning a trip to New Zealand’s North Island for the holidays next year (2019-2020). My sister just moved to Wangharei and the landscape is beautiful! Planning on exploring all your North Island posts! Thanks!

  4. The issue with New Zealand is – there are just too many gorgeous places there and it is next to impossible to be able to see everything in one trip, considering that someone like me can never take more than 2-3 weeks off work to travel. I’ve been to New Zealand (for 2 weeks) and there was so much I wanted to see but could not because time was too short. Of course I have to return some day and with a list of things I missed on the first trip. Marokpa Falls have made it to my list!

  5. Excited to learn about New Zealand’s best kept secret! Marokopa Falls look beautiful and the picture with the rainbow is amazing. Thanks for the tip that public transportation is not an option. Love how scenic the road approaching the waterfalls is but would keep in mind about the car sickness. Have driven extensively on snake-like roads in Himalayas but you never know.. its good to be prepared.

  6. Well done on finding this incredible, and slightly lesser known waterfall. I’ve never heard of Marokopa Falls, simply because I haven’t yet been to New Zealand sadly. However, as you said, I’m desperate to travel there one day, as all the photos I see are simply wonderful. That, plus I love wine and would like to visit Marlborough Sounds!

  7. Amar Singh Reply

    I’m planning my down under trip and must say this will be added to the list. the Marokopa Falls look indeed absolutely beautiful but a bit remote but the travel is worth it. The journey itself looks amazing both great views and a few photographic pit stops. It’s great to see unknown places that are not well promoted through bloggers like you. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Marokopa indeed seems like an off-beat destination and NZ’s best kept secret. I have cousins living in NZ and I have never seen this falls in their pics. Time to let out this secret to them from here in India 😀

    • rhiydwi Reply

      Hahha yes, do it! I’m sure they’ll love it jsut as much as I did!

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