Wainui Falls

Image: Virginia Woolf | ©


A short walk through lush native bush leads to the cascading Wainui Falls, the largest and most accessible falls in Golden Bay/Mohua - there's a long swing bridge for children to enjoy as well. It's one of our best short walks.

Track overview

3.4 km return via same track

Walking and tramping

1 hr 20 min return Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Cross farmland for a short distance, then walk through a forest of nīkau palms, rātā trees and ferns.

The track climbs rapidly alongside spectacular granite boulders, following the Wainui River. There’s a great suspension bridge on the way – below this you can see old logs piled up after massive floods.

You’ll know you’re close to the falls when you can hear the sound of rushing water.

Return to the Wainui Bay car park on the same track.

The walk is popular with families and can be very busy throughout the day over the peak summer months when people flock to the Nelson/Tasman region. The best time to complete this walk is in autumn when there are fewer people in the area, and while temperatures remain warm after the summer. You’ll also get to appreciate the natural flair and colour of nearby Takaka, where the locals will always stop to chat.

Getting there

The nearest town in Takaka (20 km).

The track begins from a car park at Wainui Bay – look for the signpost about 300 m after crossing the Wainui River Bridge. 

Nature and conservation

Keep a look out for the Powelliphanta snail, amongst the largest snails in the world.

Know before you go

What to expect
  • Elevation change: +/- 69 m
  • Some steep drop-offs – keep children close to the track.
Be prepared

Ensure you take:

  • food and water
  • sturdy footwear.


Whakatū / Nelson Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 546 9339
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   nelsonvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Millers Acre/Taha o te Awa
79 Trafalgar Street
Nelson 7010
Postal Address:   Private Bag 5
Nelson 7042
Motueka i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Phone:   +64 3 528 6543
Email:   info@motuekaisite.co.nz
Address:   20 Wallace Street
Motueka 7120
Postal Address:  
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