Omanawa Falls, New Zealand Captured on Video

New Zealand Adventure Travel Series!

A few months back, my son Chris and his new found friends took an extensive trip through the North Island of New Zealand. At that time I published a post with over 50 incredible photos documenting their trip, but I didn’t have this amazing video (below) of their adventure at Omanawa Falls.

(For more info on his year-long travels, see the links at the bottom of this post.)

Chris created the Omanawa Falls video with his GoPro camera that is very portable and can film under water. I saw the video for the first time a few days ago, and I decided it warranted a post of its own.


Waterfall in Omanawa Falls in New Zealand

Omanawa Falls, New Zealand

Before seeing his video, I knew nothing about Omanawa Falls so I did a little research. Quick “as told by mom” summary is that I’m thankful I didn’t know at the time what he was doing!

Omanawa Falls is located in the Bay of Plenty region. A drive up the Kaimai foothills from Tauranga, plus an easy ten minute walk, will get you to the scenic public viewing area that looks down into the falls area.

Amazing view looking down at Omanawa Falls, New Zealand.

But of course that stunning view wasn’t good enough for this group of young twenty-something year olds.

They had to experience standing under the actual waterfall and surrounding area. However, the falls are extremely difficult to access due to a treacherous, risky hike with no clear path. I’m sure that made it even more of an adventure for Chris and his friends.

As you’ll see in the short video, it’s not a good hike if you struggle at all with anxiety as it apparently is a real hang-on-for-life challenge.

According to a New Zealand Travel site, the dangerous waterfall hike is currently closed to the public. “The only access route presently is to involves clambering over fences and descending a vertical cliff face using exposed roots as handholds.” Between 2104 and 2017, there were “four helicopter rescues from the location from injuries resulting from climbing down the vertical cliff face.”

I asked Chris to write a few words about how if felt to take the hike and then be physically standing in the falls:

It took about an hour to get down to the waterfall. It was dense jungle-like terrain to get there and pretty steep slopes throughout. The path was barely followable. Once we got closer there were old ladders and staircases leading down.


The video pretty well sums up our reactions to the waterfall. The swim across was incredibly cold. Being right under the waterfall kinda hurt but it was worth it.

With no further ado, here’s Chris’ video of Omanawa Fall. EnJOY!

As Chris’ mom, I’m glad there was no footage of them sliding and grabbing onto exposed tree roots, even though I know it happened. His GoPro was tucked away during the most dangerous of the hike down to the beautiful falls.

Further Reading: I hope you enjoyed this video of Omanawa Falls in New Zealand! Take a look at other photos and interesting tid bits from this trip that will surely make you put New Zealand on your list of amazing places you want to visit.

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Books to Learn More About New Zealand
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I will publish another post in this travel series very soon. It will give an update on what Chris has been doing in the past three months – and of course it’s been a fun adventure! Please feel free to leave a comment for Chris, or share your waterfall story!

Recommended items to pack for your New Zealand Backpacker Trip
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Read More Posts in this New Zealand Adventure Travel Series:

  1. New Zealand Travel Adventures as Told by Mom
  2. New Zealand Work Visa: First Few Weeks
  3. New Zealand Adventure: Working at a Vineyard
  4. New Zealand Adventure: Exploring the North Island
  5.  New Zealand’s Northland: Hiking & Picking Kiwi
  6. This Post! Omanawa Falls: New Zealand Adventure
  7. Mt. Ruapehu: New Zealand’s Epic Winter Playground
  8. New Zealand Travel Adventure: It’s a Wrap!

Omanawa Falls in New Zealand

One Reply to “Omanawa Falls, New Zealand Captured on Video”

  1. Gorgeous! I sure wouldn’t have the guts to make that hike – and to think he wasn’t even able to record the most dangerous parts. That waterfall was incredible and the audio under the actual fall was so interesting. The more I read your posts the more I want to travel to New Zealand!

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