Washpen Falls


Washpen Falls

One of the most popular waterfalls near Christchurch, Washpen Falls is reached via a gorgeous 2 hours loop walk.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 43° 29.527' E 171° 43.402'
Parking: Washpen Road, Windwhistle, Darfield
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Walking track
Road type:600m of Gravel Road Return track duration: 1hr 30min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 22m Type of the waterfall: Horsetail

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 43° 29.527' E 171° 43.402'
Parking:     Washpen Road, Windwhistle, Darfield
Access:     1hr 30min return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Washpen Falls is roughly a 1-hour 10-minutes' drive away from Christchurch. The road surface is sealed, except the last 600m through the farmland.

From Christchurch head west along SH-73. In Darfield slide left onto SH-77/Inland Scenic Road and follow it for the next 32km. Then turn right onto Washpen Falls Road and follow the signs. There is a dedicated car park at the end of the road. You have to pay an entree fee - $10.00 per adult / $5.00 per child (under 15) on the entrance. Maps and all additional information will be provided here. Toilets and covered picnic area are found near the start/finish of the walk.

From the information kiosk follow the well-maintained loop walk (arrows along the track will point you to the right direction). First part of the journey is pretty much an uphill walk with some interesting spots described on the provided map. Then you reach the top of the hill with breathtaking views of the valley. Then the track descends to the falls base via a set of zigzags. En route is a great view of the waterfall. A wooden bridge crosses the stream and provides the best view of the falls.

From here continue your walk until you reach a small lake. It is an ideal place for a picnic. Another few minutes of walking bring you back to the car park.

Total walking time is 1,5hrs without kids, and 2-3hrs with kids.

Washpen Falls is a permanent waterfall accessible all year round. It is a popular swimming hole during summer.

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