Charlies Rock

Charlies Rock is one of several waterfalls in and around Kerikeri, Northland. Like Te Wairere Falls, it had been cut off from public access for many years as orchards were developed around the region. In 2010, local high school students worked with the council to develop the track to the falls, opening up access. It is a popular local destination; you may see people jumping off the cliff. But this is dangerous without local knowledge coupled with some skill and considerable confidence!

Charlies Rock waterfall is 12 metres high and spans about 24 metres wide. The Waipapa Stream cascades over a 10 million-year-old volcanic basalt rock formation, creating a U-shaped amphitheatre around a large, deep swimming hole. The columnar nature of the basalt rock and cliffs adds to this picturesque spot.

It is a 15-minute walk to the falls from a rather obscure track signpost on Landing Road. The walk initially passes alongside a paddock, then enters a narrow, pretty strip of scrubby forest regrowth along the stream's edge. It is mostly easy but muddy and rocky in a couple of places. After about 10 minutes, you reach the edge of the rock amphitheatre and can access the pool below the falls directly from the track. The track climbs sharply to the top of the amphitheatre and terminates at the falls.

To get to Charlies Rock from the town centre, go north on Heritage Bypass Road, then turn east onto Waipapa Road at the roundabout. At the next roundabout, turn north onto Landing Road. The track access is about 1.2 km along Landing Road, just before Waipapa Landing, where Waipapa Stream enters Kerikeri Basin. Park beside the reserve at the landing, then walk back to the track access on the north side of the road (about 60 metres).

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