Purakaunui Falls Walk

Purakaunui Falls Walk - Catlins

Purakaunui Falls Walk




44 Rankers Reviews

37 Face-to-Face

158 Walking

6 Owaka

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!



Purakaunui Falls head on
The cool waters of Purakaunui falls


1 km return | 20 minutes return

The Pūrākaunui Falls is one of Otago’s iconic, most-photographed sights. The track through mature forest is suitable for wheelchair users to the top viewing platform.

These much photographed falls split into many minor cascades over two tiers. The wide bluff is framed with vegetation , making a picturesque setting.


10 km east of Maclennan, Purakanui Falls are signposted to the right along Waikoata Valley Road (unsealed). After 4 km turn left into Purakanui Falls Road and the start of the track is 200 metres further on, opposite a large parking bay with toilets and picnic benches.


The metalled track weaves through a mixed forest of silver beech and podocarps, with some species highlighted by labels.

A lookout above the falls doesn’t really do them justice. It’s only when you descend to the viewing platform at stream level that they come into their own.


Feature Value Info


South IslandSouthlandOwaka


  • Walking
  • Free



Showing 13 reviews of 41.

Rebecka's avatar


Ranking: 10/10

Easy walk and very nice fall!

Reviewed 7 months ago

Nicole and Timm's avatar

Nicole and Timm


Ranking: 10/10

Probably the most beautiful waterfall we have seen in the South Island. Nice and easy to walk there.

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

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Maarten's avatar



Ranking: 6/10

Nice, but we have seen a lot of waterfalls in our time in New Zealand and this one is far from the best.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Anna's avatar



Ranking: 6/10

Gorgeous waterfalls with different tiers. A nice short walk to a viewpoint.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Anthony Terry's avatar

Anthony Terry

New Zealand

Ranking: 9/10

The perfect place to enjoy a picnic. Fab views!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Flo's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Impressive falls and great little walk within the forest. You arrive very close to the falls. Worth it!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Elien Dauwe's avatar

Elien Dauwe


Ranking: 9/10

We visited a number of waterfalls whilst driving through the beautiful Catlins area. Short walks to the stunning waterfalls, lovely area to drive through.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Simon Dauwe's avatar

Simon Dauwe


Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful lookout points, waterfalls and walks!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Alan Brown's avatar

Alan Brown

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

A short walk through forest in a scenic reserve which is absolutely magical. The vegetation is wonderful with lots of ferns and tree ferns, and even on a wet day were entranced. well worth a stop - it will only take less than half an hour.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Franco Panizza's avatar

Franco Panizza


Ranking: 10/10

An amazing spot to see - amazing sunset.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in April 2016

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Sabine's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Such a nice walk through the rainforest and the waterfall was just stunning.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Patrick's avatar



Ranking: 10/10


Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

CMG's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 7/10

Expected to be impressed, but the falls were just average, and the water was quite muddy. Not very pretty or picturesque when we visited. On the other hand, McLean Falls were utterly magical! Like stepping back in time…

Reviewed over 3 years ago

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Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner