I found the magical Omanawa Falls via Instagram while living in Auckland, and immediately knew I had to visit. Omanawa Falls is currently shut off to the public due to a dangerous entrance. I knew that it would be worth the trouble of getting through. One Sunday, we rounded up a group of friends and took a friends van on a 3 hour drive down to Tauranga.
Because of it’s dangerous entrance, Omanawa Falls is sometimes monitored by security guards, telling people to turn around. I wouldn’t recommend going if you are in any way unable to hike or climb. To get to the falls, you’ll have to scale a rock wall.
The hike to the bottom is only about 30 minutes, but it’s dangerous. There are parts of the trek where I was holding on to tree branches to keep from falling down a rock face. Finally, we arrived at the bottom of Omanawa Falls.
Omanawa Falls could easily be the most beautiful waterfall I’ve seen in the 25 countries I’ve visited. The cerulean water, the cove right behind the falls, the rocks covered in moss – I’ve never seen such a perfect sight.
We spent the afternoon here, swimming in the toe numbingly cold water, and hopping from rock to rock, praying we don’t slip.
Our bags held water and snacks and towels and sunscreen. We found little spots of sun beneath the trees and stretched out like lizards to dry off and warm up after a bone-chilling swim.
Most of our group brought a change of clothes, which was a great idea. The water is so cold, and being in a little valley makes it hard to get warm. Having a change of clothes can make for a much more comfortable ride home.