Nestled in the back of Waitomo hides one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. Marokopa river cascades 35 metres over the edge of the rocks and leisurely carries on its merry way. A quick 10-minute walk through tawa and nikau forests gets you to the stunning the Marokope Falls.
Time 10 minutes each way
Difficulty The path is well defined, wide and well-maintained so it is easy to follow
Fitness Low, the track to Marokope Falls is downhill all the way down and uphill all the way back again. However, it is not too long or too steep so it is suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
Access 31 km west of Waitomo on Te Anga Road. Access is via a carpark on the side of the road.
Walking to Marokope Falls
The track down to Marokope Falls is well-maintained, easy to follow and nice and wide. There are little paths to the edge of the cliff where you go off course for a few steps and be treated with stunning views of the river below. Marokope Falls is only 10 minutes down the track so is not too arduous. It is not a terribly well-known waterfall, most people visit the region to check out Waitomo Caves then head back on their way again without really exploring the area. They should though, there are so many beautiful walks, natural gems and places to explore within the area.
If we had more time we would have combined this walk with Mangapohue Natural Bridge Walk and Piripiri Cave Walk as they are all short-short walks dotted along the side of the road. Alas, we had a 4-hour drive ahead of us and time was a-tickin'.
New Zealand is wonderful for hidden gems. In every nook and cranny, you can find something to make you awe. Marokope Falls is no exception. You wouldn't even know it existed if it weren't for the small green and yellow DOC (Department of Conservation) sign that alerts you to a walk on the side of the road. If you are ever driving along New Zealand roads, keep an eye out for those green and yellow signs. You never know what you may find. It could be any number of things from waterfalls to rivers to lookouts to rolling countryside. Take a stab in the dark and wander off down the track and see what awaits.
The Fence of the Lost Souls
On the way out to Marokope Falls, we spotted a fence laced with shoes (see what I did there?). If you are ever travelling around New Zealand you may spot the odd fence (see what I did there?) or two with collections hung on it. I have seen a bra fence, a hat fence, a jandle (flip-flop for you non-Kiwis. Want to learn how to speak Kiwi? Check out this how-to here) fence and a gumboot (welly boot) fence along random road trips over the years.
We decided we would stop and have a look on our way back through again. It was further along the road than we thought. As we are a punny family, we spent most of the time looking for the fence talking in puns.
'Where is the fence again?'
'It shoe-d be just around the corner'
'Isn't it at the foot of the hill?'
'Let's just soul-jer on, we will find it soon'
'Heel be there soon'
'The fence of the lost souls is coming up'
'We're taking a step in the right direction'
'I'm a-boot sure we are near now'
'Wouldn't it be a kick in the pants if we'd already past it?'
And so on and so forth. At least we make ourselves laugh.
When we got to the fence I had to add my old pair of jandles. Because obviously, we had to leave our mark, even if it was just a pair of black, broken jandles. I chose a spot between an old pair of slippers and a walking boot. Now the spiders had yet another piece of footwear to call home.
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