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.
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…
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.
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!
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:
- New Zealand North Island Bucket List
- 27 Photos to Make You Want to Visit NZ’s North Island
- Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Hobbiton
- The 3 Most Beautiful Waterfalls Near Paihia, Bay of Islands