Rainbow Falls, Kerikeri

Rainbow Falls, Kerikeri

Rainbow Falls is an easy short walk, just a few minutes out of the Kerikeri township. If you are heading up to Northland, in the far north of the North Island, then put this on your must do list.  It is a beautifully easy walk, perfect for families and small children. Similar in fact to Whangarei Falls, there are many upper view points as well as access to the waterfall pools below.

An easy short walk for young kids

Our kids just loved running from viewpoint to viewpoint, as well as the short bush walk to the base of the falls.  Your toddlers will enjoy the fact they can walk this on their own and it can be their own little adventure. The Rainbow Falls walk is also stroller accessible.

Swimming at Rainbow Falls

There were a number of people swimming at waterfall, which would be so refreshing on a hot summer’s day.  There is shade and a few wooden seats where you can view the waterfall without having to brave the scorching heat.  We were here in February, which was around 30C, so pretty sweltering in the direct sunlight for the kids.

Further Walks and Native Kauri Regeneration

You can continue on down the river track to Wharepuke Falls, which we really wanted to do, but was closed for Kauri regeneration.  Kauri trees are native to New Zealand and can grow up to 16m in girth and 50m tall. They can also live for 2000 years, however before conservation efforts, many of the large forests were cleared.  The Department of Conservation are doing a great job trying to regenerate these forests. You will notice as you head down to the base of the waterfall, there is a station to wash your shoes, to help with these conservation efforts.

Facilities at Rainbow Falls

After your walk, or even swim, you can head back up to the carpark for a picnic in the shade.  There are bathroom facilities here as well. Kerikeri township is only 5 minutes drive from here, which is a major Northland centre, so has all your usual supermarket and cafes/restaurant amenities.

How to get to Rainbow Falls

You will find these amazing waterfalls at the end of Rainbow Falls Road, off Waipapa Road.  Heading north, you will find Waipapa Road on the right hand side off State Highway 1.


Other things to do in Kerikeri

Check out some of New Zealand’s beautiful historic sites:

Kerikeri Mission Station:  One of the first places that Maori invited visitors to live among them

Stone Store: A Georgian style building showcasing replica shop items from the early 19th Century

Kemp House is a Georgian family home from the 1820s which you can tour with a guide.

More outdoorsy things to do

Aroha Island: Walk, kayak and check out the birds at this bird sanctuary.  If you are lucky, you might even see a kiwi

Charlies Rock Waterfall:  Go for a walk and a swim at Charlies Rock Waterfall.


Other places to explore in Northland



Founder of Backyard Travel Family

Jen is a super organiser when it comes to travel. Having travelled extensively in Europe and Africa, has lived in London and the USA and holidayed in many parts of Asia, she is not a newbie to the travel space

Jen has three young children, 5 and under and travels around New Zealand with them.

Backyard Travel Family New Zealand. Lets share these articles and spread the love

what you need to know


- End of Rainbow Falls Road, off Waipapa Road, just 5 minutes drive from Kerikeri township
- 30 minutes drive from Paihia

The waterfall

- beautiful viewpoints from above
- access to the waterfall below
- locals often swim here

Suitable for kids?

Yes! Its a great short walk for toddlers and is even stroller accessible


- Free Parking
- Toilets
- Picnic tables near the carpark
- Some shade on the track

What to bring

- Swimsuit and towel
- Picnic/food

Food options

You are only 5 minutes drive from Kerikeri which has a number of cafes/restaurants and large supermarkets

If you are after a treat, head to Blue River Orchard on 45 Koropewa Road, about 10 minutes from Kerkeri. Follow the signposts to a beautiful secluded blueberry farm with devine ice creams.

What the critics thought

The waterfall was so pretty! I ran to the bottom of the path and dipped my toes in. It wasn't too cold. Mum said if we weren't going to the airport we could have had a swim.
Backyard Travel Family / Your go to for practical advice for active families travelling around New Zealand
5 year old Leader
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