Wairere Falls

Wairere Falls from road, New Zealand
Wairere Falls from road / Ravisha Wijesinghe. CC BY 2.0

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 37.7347 S 175.8798 E
No:190        (list of all attractions)
Values:Geology, Visual
Address:Australia and Oceania, New Zealand, North Island, Waikato, Kaimai Escarpment, some 15 km north-east from Matamata
Height:153 m

It is considered that Wairere Falls are the tallest in Northern Island.

Waterfall has formed on Wairere stream, which falls over an interesting geological feature - Okauia (Ōkauia) fault - a fracture in Earth's crust. Fault divides Kaimai Range to the east and Hauraki Plains to the west, the later still are sinking 2 mm every year.

Water falls over uneven, nearly vertical wall formed by volcanic rock.

Wairere Falls, New Zealand
Wairere Falls / Floyd Wilde. CC BY-SA 2.0

As the Wairere stream reaches this fault, water falls down almost vertically. Waterfall has two cascades - the upper one is higher. Information regarding the height of each cascade is differing - upper cascade is 80 or 91 m tall, lower: 73 or 60 m tall.

Often winds catch the falls in upper cascade, rising the water upwards.

View from the upper rim of Wairere Falls, New Zealand
View from Wairere Falls to Hauraki Plains / C. Rodliffe, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 3.0

Nature trail leads up to the top of waterfall with beautiful view over the Hauraki Plains.


See Wairere Falls on the map of New Zealand!


  1. NIWA - Climate Data

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