Exploring The Magic Of The Bridal Veil Falls, New Zealand

by Karen Warren
A rainbow at the bottom of the Bridal Veil Falls in New Zealand

One of the many attractions of New Zealand is its scenery and natural wonders, including more than 1500 waterfalls. Some of these waterfalls are transient, only appearing after heavy rain. 

But not Bridal Veil Falls (also known as the Waireinga Falls) in Raglan area, Waikato region, North Island. These have been a permanent feature of the landscape for more than two million years.

We were intrigued by the majestic Bridal Veil Falls, so we made a stop here on our road trip.

In Search Of The Bridal Veil Falls

It took us longer to find the Bridal Veil Falls than it should have done. That’s mainly because we took the “scenic” driving route via Kawhia. 

I don’t recommend this, unless you have a penchant for long drives along unsealed roads, with no phone signal for emergencies.

As we discovered when we left, it’s much easier to drive the 28 kilometers (17.4 miles) from Raglan, a laid-back surf town on the west coast.

Click here for the map to the Bridal Veil parking. 

However you get here, the easy track from the car park (parking lot) to the upper viewing platform is a pleasant 10-minute walk through the native forest

A flat track through the forest area heading to Bridal Veil Falls

Here is a track to the waterfall through the native woodland. Photo credit: WorldWideWriter

Note: The track used to be wheelchair-friendly, but according to the Department of Conservation, the track needs to be repaired due to weather damage. We recommend checking out the Department of Conversation website for updates. 

If you’re feeling energetic, you can walk the 261 steps down to the bottom of the waterfall. This takes another ten minutes, but don’t forget that you have to come up again!

The Magic Of The Waireinga Falls

The descent is well worth the effort. 

The Bridal Veil Falls have a 55 meters (180 feet) drop from the result of ancient volcanic activity. As the water cascades it sends out spray, creating the perfect environment for ferns and mosses. 

The top view of Bridal Veil Falls water cascades

The Waireinga Falls are surrounded by lush vegetation. Photo credit: WorldWideWriter

Rainbows play at the base of the waterfall, birds chatter, and you are surrounded by lush vegetation on all sides.

Swimming and rock climbing are not allowed. 

The Maori name for the falls is Waireinga, meaning “leaping waters.” This refers to the wairua, or spirits, that leap through the water. According to tradition, the area is protected by Maori fairies or Patupaiarehe. It is all part of the magic of the Wairenga Falls.

A slate colored Maori welcome sign to Waireinga Falls - Bridal Veil Falls

Maori welcome to the Waireinga Falls. Photo credit: WorldWideWriter

Final Thoughts

Bridal Veil Falls is a beautiful waterfall to visit when you’re exploring New Zealand. The easy access to the viewing platform or the bottom of the waterfall is a great way for everyone to enjoy the waterfalls. 

If you’re looking for another place to visit in Waitomo region, check out my experience at Ruakuri Cave.

Read more about my travels at WorldWideWriter

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