Punehu Falls


Punehu Falls

Two waterfalls, Punehu and Pouriwai Falls, are found along scenic The Waipohatu Track, 3-hrs loop. These two charming waterfalls are located just within a few hundred metres from each other, but look very different.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 46° 36.197' E 169° 01.138'
Parking: the end of Waipohatu Rd, Niagara
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Walking track
Road type:12km of Gravel Road Return track duration: 2hrs 30min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 7m Type of the waterfall: Cascade

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 46° 36.197' E 169° 01.138'
Parking:     the end of Waipohatu Rd, Niagara
Access:     2hrs 30min return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Punehu and Pouriwai Falls are roughly a 1-hour’ drive away from Invercargill or 3-hours from Dunedin. The road surface is sealed, which becomes an unsealed one for the last 12 km.

From Invercargill travel east on Gorge Road-Invercargill Hwy which becomes Tokanui-Gorge Rd Hwy. From Fortrose follow Fortrose-Otara Rd which becomes Otara-Haldane Rd. On the intersection with Tokanui-Haldane Rd turn right onto Tokanui-Haldane Rd and follow it for the next 1.8km, then turn left onto Waipohatu Rd (signposted "The Waipohatu Recreation Area"). Roughly, after 1km you'll reach a car park at the beginning of Nature Walk. There are picnic tables and long-drop toilet there. The closest to the waterfall car park is 700m up the road, just keep driving till you reach the end of the road. There are no facilities there.

From the parking follow a well-signposted track (anti-clockwise) which brings you to two waterfalls. It's a true New Zealand walking track which has up-hill and down-hill section as well as some muddy sections. In roughly an hour, you will reach an intersection with sign 'Waterfall 10min return (to the left), lower waterfall 10 min return (to the right). For Punehu Falls, the upper falls, turn left, and the track will descend to the stream.

Visit Pouriwai Fall on the way back. It doesn't matter which one you visit first. Each trip from tracks junction will take 10 minutes (excluding photos).

Return either via the same route (2.5hrs total walking time), or walk the whole track as a loop (3hrs). 

Waterfalls nearby

Pouriwai Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
Access:     2hrs 30min return walk
Driving:   10.5 km (15 mins)

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Koropuku Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
Access:     40min return walk
Driving:   27.4 km (29 mins)

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