Mangatini Falls

 

Mangatini Falls

Mangatini Falls is reached by a gorgeous 1-hour walk which offers unbelievable views of the Ngakawau Gorge and river, follows an old railway formation, goes through lots of tunnels, and accompanied by waterfalls. Extreme power and remote location make this waterfall one New Zealand Must See Waterfalls.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 41° 36.429’ E 171° 54.832’
Parking: Tyler Road, Ngakawau
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Walking track
Road type: Sealed Return track duration: 2hrs 

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 25m Type of the waterfall: Multi-step

 

 


Walking and driving instructions

 

Mangatini Falls is roughly a 25-minutes’ drive away from Westport, or 2-hours from Greymouth. The road surface is always sealed.

If you drive from Westport, travel north-east on the SH67 for 32km until you reach Ngakawau. In the village, turn right into Tyler Rd (has a sign ‘Charming Creek Walkway’) just before a bridge over the Ngakawau River. Follow the road for 450m until you reach the official car park. There are no facilities there (no toilets).

From the parking follow a well-signposted and well-maintained walking track. The track is an old railway and follows the Ngakawau River. The first part of the walk is very easy. In 20-30 minutes you reach a first tunnel, then the track becomes narrow. It doesn’t have any significant uphill/downhill sections, but instead has a couple of tunnels, a few waterfalls (can disappear in dry weather) and stunning views of the river. In 40-50 minutes you will reach a first significant waterfall, many people think it’s Mangatini and return. Do not make this mistake, continue on to the track for 5 more minutes until you reach a suspension bridge. The first appearance of Mangatini waterfall is from this bridge. Cross the river and in 1 minute you’ll reach the official lookout platform (just before a tunnel entrance).

If you have time and fit enough, we would highly recommend descending to the falls base from here. Just look for a track which leads down from the platform. The track can be slippery and very steep but has a chain which is helpful during ascend/descend. It takes roughly 2 minutes to reach the waterfall’s base.

Return via the same track (total duration 1.5-2 hrs), or continue on to the main track for 4-5 hours until you reach the northern end of the track (total duration 5-6 hrs). If you choose the second option, make sure you organize transport to pick you up from the end of Charming Creek Rd (10km gravel rd).

The track is suitable for mountain-biking in off-peak season excluding Xmas and Easter (check the notice in the car park).

A torch is nice to have for the tunnels, but we used a flashlight on our smartphones and it was enough.

 


Waterfalls nearby (driving)

 

Attractions nearby

 

Two national parks: Kahurangi and Paparoa and extensive bushlands, there are many walking and tramping tracks providing access to one of the world's most beautiful natural environments. The forests are host to a myriad of native birds including rare species, while at Cape Foulwind you can visit a seal breeding colony.

One of New Zealand Great Walk – Heaphy track starts/ends not far from Charming Creek Walkway.

 


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