Omeru Scenic Reserve – Omeru Falls
State Highway 16 from Kumeu to Welllsford is mostly a drive through rolling green farmland. But along the way is Omeru Scenic Reserve. This is an exceptional stop, featuring the convergence of two streams, both with waterfalls, recovering kauri forest, and an old pā site. The two higher waterfalls are named – Omeru Falls at 5 metres and Waitangi Falls at 7 metres – and there are several smaller falls. The track follows the two streams to each of the falls and it takes about 30 to 40 minutes for the circuit, with multiple places to swim. There is a lovely grassed area with seating for picnics at the pā site.
For Omeru Falls (five metres), it’s an easy ten-minute walk to the base of the waterfall. From the carpark, walk down the access road and cross the footbridge over the first stream. The pā site and picnic area is to the left, but turn right for the Falls. Follow the track near the first stream on the right until you see the second steam and a shorter waterfall on the left. Stay right for another three minutes for Omeru Falls, including a modest climb and drop to access the pool at the base.
There are also a couple of rough side tracks that get you to smaller secondary waterfalls below Omeru Falls on the first stream. But take care as it can be wet and slippery. Swimming at the base of the falls is popular in summer when the water is clearer. Note that it does get muddy with heavy rain.
Return the same way and head through the pā site and picnic area over a bridge on the second stream to get to Waitangi Falls.