27 September 2021 | Written by Bachcare Holiday Homes

Our Favourite Catlins Waterfalls

Back to Blog

Best Waterfalls In The Catlins

One of the most beautiful places to be in New Zealand is the Catlins. Located in the southern part of the country, it is a place that houses the mystery of wildlife. It is also a place to catch excellent coastal views. 

However, one thing that makes this area stand out for many tourists is the various Caitlins waterfalls.

Let’s check out the best of them.

McLean Falls

catlins waterfalls
Credit: Locationscout

This waterfall is the most popular of all the falls in the area. It also doubles as the largest waterfall in The Caitlins. The beauty and size are breathtaking, and you will be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t visit. It attracts many tourists every year, making it the most visited of all Caitlin’s waterfalls. You will find this waterfall on every map in New Zealand, a testament to its wonder and beauty. 

This waterfall is about 2 hrs from Dunedin or Invercargill, and the road becomes gravel for the last 3 km. You will find the signpost that leads to the waterfall very close to the road. When you are there, you can follow the Walk to reach the upper level of the fall. Follow the same path to return to town.

Koropuku Falls

Koropuku Falls
Credit: Wikicommons

It is the most extraordinary of all the falls in the area, and it is very peaceful. You will not find this fall on many tourists’ guide maps, but it is one you should visit. 

It is located deep in the forest and off the marked path for tourists. Google maps can guide you, or you can access them from the town of Tokanui or Papatowai.

You should also wear thick clothes and waterproof shoes to protect you from the cold. You have to be very careful after a downpour when visiting this waterfall because it is very slippery. 

There is a bridge you have to cross and some rocks over which you must climb. You should be very cautious throughout your journey along the road. When you get to the waterfall, you will find a bench at the end of the road that gives you a fantastic view of falls.

Waipohatu Falls

An awe-inspiring waterfall that separates into two about 2m wide. You can take a quiet walk to the waterfall and camp around it. Google maps can also get you here, or you may visit with the help of a guide. 

From the starting point of your walk, it may take you about 2 hours to get to the fall and back.

It would be best to be very careful on this road as it can be dangerous after a downpour. There is a picnic site with a nice walking path that also accommodates wheelchairs. Always watch out for signs so that you don’t get lost while traveling through. 

Purakaunui Falls

Purakaunui Falls
Credit: Wikicommons

About 10m high, this waterfall towers above the forests and has a viewing platform from which you can enjoy the view and take great photos.

This waterfall is outside Owaka. The design of the road makes it look like a horseshoe that connects to the main road. You can also walk from the town to the waterfall easily—it takes about 10 minutes.

The journey to this waterfall is about 2 hours and has a lot of beautiful scenes along the way. When you get to the area, you can enjoy a picnic with your friends or family on the tables provided. The road to the upper platform is suitable for wheelchairs, but this is not so with the road that leads to the lower platform. 

Matai Falls and Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls
Credit: Pxfuel

These waterfalls are great, but try not to visit them after a rainfall. They are not a palatable sight. These falls are very close to each other, making them very easy to visit and transverse. The walk between these two falls takes about 10 minutes. To get to these places from the town, you might have to spend about 2 hours on the road.

However, the drive is worth it because of the scenic views. Watch out for signposts that lead and guide you throughout the journey.

Barrs Waterfalls

About a 2-hour drive from town, this waterfall is another fantastic beauty that you should visit. Make sure to follow the signposts that guide you towards the fall and away from dangerous paths. 

You should note that there are no toilets or picnic tables around. All the streams have bridges, but they also have stairs. They are not suitable for wheelchairs. There are two waterfalls in this area, and after a downpour, they are dazzling to look upon.

Niagara Waterfalls

Niagara Waterfall nz
Credit: Pixabay

This waterfall is not interesting or engaging. However, it has a relaxed atmosphere that will keep you calm and peaceful. There is not a roar of rushing water at this fall. Everywhere is calm and quiet.


These waterfalls are Caitlin’s finest, and you will do yourself a great disservice if you do not visit them at least once. When you come over here, try to get great photos of the place to build eternal memories. These waterfalls are a wonder to behold. 

Back to Blog
Next article
Best Lakeside Holiday Homes in Wanaka

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Please complete all fields.

Close mobile menu
Search holiday homes List your home