Alleen Leiva

Alleen Leiva

Published: 19 Sep 2023


Located in the magnificent Catlins region of New Zealand, Purakaunui Falls is an enchanting natural wonder that leaves visitors in awe. With its stunning cascade of water plunging 20 meters into a pristine pool below, this hidden gem has become a must-visit destination for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike.

But there’s more to Purakaunui Falls than meets the eye. In this article, we’ll delve into 17 astounding facts about these majestic falls, shedding light on their geological significance, cultural importance, and the captivating stories that surround them.

So, get ready to be amazed as we uncover the secrets and wonders of Purakaunui Falls, immersing ourselves in the beauty and intrigue of this natural marvel.

Table of Contents

Majestic Beauty

Purakaunui Falls is renowned for its majestic beauty, captivating visitors with its breathtaking cascades and lush surroundings.


Situated in the Catlins Conservation Park on the South Island of New Zealand, Purakaunui Falls is surrounded by pristine native bush and is easily accessible.

Dramatic Drop

This stunning waterfall plunges an impressive 20 meters (65 feet) in three distinct tiers, creating a mesmerizing display of cascading water.

Picturesque Setting

Purakaunui Falls is set against a backdrop of verdant greenery, with towering trees and vibrant ferns enhancing its natural charm.

Ancient Origins

The falls were formed thousands of years ago as a result of glacial activity, leaving behind a natural masterpiece that continues to captivate all who visit.


Purakaunui Falls has become an Instagram sensation, attracting photographers and nature lovers from around the globe who seek to capture its beauty.

Wildlife Haven

The surrounding area of Purakaunui Falls is teeming with wildlife, providing a refuge for various bird species, including the native tui and fantail.

Walking Trail

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the well-maintained walking trail that leads to Purakaunui Falls and take in the breathtaking scenery along the way.

Film Location

Purakaunui Falls has served as a stunning backdrop for several films, showcasing its timeless beauty to audiences around the world.

Maori Connection

Purakaunui Falls holds cultural significance for the local Maori community, who consider it a treasured natural landmark steeped in history and mythology.

Untouched Wilderness

The Catlins Conservation Park, where Purakaunui Falls is located, is renowned for its untouched wilderness and rich biodiversity, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

Easy Access

Unlike some remote waterfalls, Purakaunui Falls can be accessed easily, with a short walk from the car park to the viewing platform.

Seasonal Changes

Throughout the year, the falls undergo mesmerizing transformations, with the surrounding flora adding different hues and textures, making each visit a unique experience.

Peaceful Ambiance

The sound of cascading water combined with the tranquil surroundings creates a serene and peaceful ambiance, perfect for relaxation and reflection.

Website Recognition

Purakaunui Falls has been featured on numerous travel websites, earning accolades for its natural beauty and appeal.

Best Viewing Times

The falls are best seen during the early morning or late afternoon when the sunlight beautifully illuminates the cascades, creating a magical sight.

Nature’s Symphony

As the water cascades down the tiers of Purakaunui Falls, it creates a melodic symphony that adds to the overall charm and allure of this natural wonder.

So, next time you find yourself in New Zealand, make sure to visit Purakaunui Falls and immerse yourself in its astounding beauty. Experience the magic and wonder that this natural treasure has to offer.


In conclusion, Purakaunui Falls is a remarkable natural wonder that captivates visitors with its beauty and tranquility. With its stunning cascades, lush surroundings, and rich cultural significance, it is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photography lovers alike. The falls provide a serene and peaceful setting for relaxation and contemplation, allowing visitors to connect with the natural world and appreciate its splendor.Whether you choose to explore the falls from the viewing platform or embark on a hiking adventure through the Catlins region, Purakaunui Falls promises an unforgettable experience. Its secluded location and unspoiled beauty make it a hidden gem and a true testament to the breathtaking landscapes that New Zealand has to offer.So, if you’re planning a trip to New Zealand and want to immerse yourself in its natural wonders, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Purakaunui Falls. You’ll be rewarded with a truly magical and awe-inspiring encounter with one of the country’s most astounding landmarks.


1. How do I get to Purakaunui Falls?

To reach Purakaunui Falls, you need to drive to the Catlins region on the South Island of New Zealand. It is located about 20 kilometers from Owaka, and there are signposts along the way to guide you to the parking area near the falls.

2. Is there an entrance fee to visit Purakaunui Falls?

No, there isn’t any entrance fee to visit Purakaunui Falls. It is a public reserve, and access to the falls is free for all visitors.

3. Are there any hiking trails near Purakaunui Falls?

Yes, there are several hiking trails in the Catlins region that pass near or through Purakaunui Falls. The most popular one is the Purakaunui Falls Track, which is a short and easy walk that takes you to the waterfall’s viewing platform.

4. Can I swim in the pool beneath Purakaunui Falls?

Swimming in the pool beneath Purakaunui Falls is not recommended. The water can be cold, and the currents can be strong, posing potential risks to swimmers. It is best to admire the falls from a safe distance and enjoy the natural beauty without taking any unnecessary risks.

5. Are there any accommodation options near Purakaunui Falls?

While there are no accommodations specifically near Purakaunui Falls, there are several options available in the nearby towns of Owaka and Papatowai. These range from holiday parks and lodges to bed and breakfast establishments, providing visitors with a comfortable place to stay during their exploration of the Catlins region.