Motu Falls


Motu Falls

Easy accessible from the road, Motu Falls is a powerful waterfall located on the Motu River at Whinray Scenic Reserve. Surrounded by an impressive swing bridge, beautiful walks and variety of the cycle tracks.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 38° 14' 57.534" E 177° 35' 48.4974"
Parking: Motu Falls Road, Motu
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Easy walking track
Road type:5km Gravel Road Return track duration: 5min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 5m Type of the waterfall: Cataract

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 38° 14' 57.534" E 177° 35' 48.4974"
Parking:     Motu Falls Road, Motu
Access:     5min return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Motu Falls is roughly a 1.5hrs’ drive away from Gisborne. The road surface is sealed, except for the last 5km which are a gravel road.

From Gisborne travel north on the SH-2 for 70 km, then in Matawai turn right into Motu Rd (well signposted) and follow it for the next 13.3km until you reach Motu Village. In the village turn right into Motu Falls Rd, which becomes a gravel road, and follow it for the next 5.2km until you reach an official car park associated with Whinray Scenic Reserve (on your left). Toilets and picnic tables are available here.

From the parking, follow the walking path which leads to the swingbridge. The best view of the waterfall is reached from the bridge. Total walking time is 5 minutes. If you wish, you can increase the walking time up to 2.5hrs. From the swingbridge follow the main track which brings you to the car park on Marumoko Road. From here, you can either organize transport or return via the same track.

Mountain biking options: Motu Road Trail (Grade 3; 6-8 hrs), or just a 5km side trip from Motu.

Waterfalls nearby

Rere Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access:     2min return walk
Driving:   113 km (1 hour 44 mins)

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