If you love to see and photograph waterfalls, but don't want to walk for hours, then these are the waterfalls for you to visit when you're on the North Island of New Zealand.
Most of them need a little to a moderate amount of effort to get to, and all are worthwhile. Pick your time right, as, after a bit of rain, you can see them in their full glory.
Starting in the north of the island, Kerikeri has three waterfalls to see.
Te Wairere Falls can be found after a half-hour walk, with the trail starting behind St. James' Church.
Walking through the bush and crossing the river by bridge at times, is a nice walk to take on a hot summer's day.
Your reward at the end is a pool under the falls that you can cool off in.
It's a very easy walk along a level track that can get muddy if it's been raining.
There are two entrances to this walk and it all depends on how long you want to take walking through the bush.
The longest way is sign-posted from behind St. James' Church down at the old settlement. The other has a track off the Kerikeri Inlet Road.
These two waterfalls are on the other side of the river from the Stone Store.
Getting to Rainbow Falls and back will take a couple of hours, or you could go as far as Wharepoke Falls, which will only take about 30-45 minutes to return.
If the thought of a longer walk puts you off or you don't have the time, you can drive to Rainbow Falls. It's only a 5-minute walk to the lookouts and down to another swimming hole. You can also walk behind the falls.
I didn't meet many people on the Kerikeri River track, but Rainbow Falls are very popular, especially in the summer.
It's straightforward to find these two waterfalls, and you have two ways to do it.
From the main car park for the Mission House, Stone Store, there is the Kerikeri River track that follows the river to Rainbow Falls, passing Wharepuku Falls about a quarter of the way along.
You could also choose to go to the car park off Rainbow Falls Road, and walk a couple of minutes down the track to Rainbow Falls.
Hururu Falls is a very accessible waterfall and only 5 minutes from Paihia and a 2-minute walk from the car park.
I was there later in the afternoon and nearly had the whole place to myself.
It doesn't matter if there has been much rain when seeing these falls, as they always seem to have enough water flowing over to get a good photograph.
Turn down Haruru Falls Road off Highway 11, and on the right, you'll find the car park. It's only a couple of minutes walk to view the waterfall.
Whangarei Falls is well known, but if you're in the area, it's worth checking out Paranui Falls in A.H. Reed Memorial Kauri Park.
I haven't seen Paranui Falls, as this little-known waterfall is overshadowed in popularity by its neighbour.
There is a track that joins the two waterfalls, and you also have many lookouts to see Whangarei Falls from the top and bottom.
Whangarei Falls is next door to Whangarei Falls Holiday Park and YHA, on Puna Rere Drive. You can walk from Whangarei Falls to Paranui Falls via the track next to the Hatea River or drive to A.H. Reed Park off Whareora Road.
Oakley Creek waterfall is located in the suburbs of Auckland.
Just a short walk from the suburb of Point Chevalier will find you in this bush oasis, with motorways on the other side of the road and underneath you.
It's only about a 20-30 minute walk to the falls, and it can be muddy if it has rained lately.
There are also more walkways on the other side of Great North Road to explore, including toilets, a playground, a skate park and a BMX park.
There are entrances to the Oakley Creek Walkway along Great North Road in Waterview.
There are also many waterfalls in the Waitakere Ranges to the west of Auckland. Go to the Arataki Information Centre to check the tracks are open when you visit.
There is also the Hunua Falls to the south of Auckland. Once again, check the information centre to see that the tracks are open.
Owharoa Falls is a beautiful waterfall set in the bush just a couple of hundred metres off the road.
Located in the Karangahake Gorge area, you can add this waterfall to a full day of exploring the gorge and surrounding towns. As inviting as it looks, this is not somewhere you would want to swim, with a few drownings here due to what lies beneath.
Another very easy and quick walk off Waitawheta Road, or you can walk from the Karangahake Gorge car park, which is about 5km up the road via a bush track.
It doesn't matter what level of fitness you have, Bridal Veil Falls is one for everyone.
With a level track from the car park, the first lookout is nearly right on top of the drop.
You can carry around the track and get views of the side, but if you want to get to the bottom of the falls, you have to go down 261 steps, which is the easy part. The hard part is going back up again. You have a couple of rest areas to take in the view of the falls along the way.
Bridal Veil Falls is out of Hamilton on the way to Raglan. The car park is off Kawhia Road.
Marokopa Falls is off Te Anga Road, west of Waitomo Caves.
One of the most popular and accessible waterfalls in New Zealand is Huka Falls.
This path to the falls is sealed and many tour groups stop here.
From the car park, take a track to the less touristy, opposite side of the river and get an even more impressive view of the power of the falls.
Get your timing right, and you'll see the tourist cruise and jet boats try to get as close as possible to the drop.
Take the well-signposted turnoff from Wairakei Drive, or you can walk the Huka Falls Walkway from Spa Thermal Park in Taupo.
There are plenty of lookouts along the easy walking track for you to see the water descend 28m in the space of 1km.
Waters are released from the dam three times a day in winter and four times in summer to give you the spectacle of the water rushing down the rapids. From April - September, the times are 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm and from October - March, it's 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm and 4 pm.
Take Aratiatia Road from the Thermal Explorer Highway, and it's just 2km up the road. You could also walk from Huka Falls or Taupo on the Huka Falls Walkway/Aratiatia Rapids Walk.
These falls may be a bit out of the way, but it's a nice reprieve to get out of the hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in nature.
Once you get to the car park, it's only a short walk to the falls. You can do a loop track back onto the car park, which will take you past glow worms, which can be seen when it's dark.
You will need a car to get to this park as it is a 20-minute drive out of Tauranga.
From Tauranga travel east on the SH-29 for 18 km, then turn left into McLaren Falls Rd and follow it for the next 1.2 km. You will see signposts to go into the parkland once you are over the bridge and where the falls are inside the parkland.
Tutea Falls is one of the most dramatic falls you will get to visit as it hosts the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world.
From the car park, it's an easy walk along the track, first seeing Okere Falls and then down to Tutea Falls.
If you time your walk right, you can see the rafters negotiate the cascades before getting down to Tutea Falls in time to see them go over.
There is a staircase to get down to the lookout for Tutea Falls.
You can either head back to the car park or continue down to Trout Pool Falls while following the white-water rafters to their final destination.
Trout Pool Falls, you can't go over in a raft, but you can get a very good view of it from the bridge over the river.
The loop to go to Trout Pool Falls and back to the car park is a leisurely 2.1km, and you may also see local birds in the bush you walk through.
If you don't want to walk all the way to Trout Pool Falls, you can drive further down Okere Falls Road to another car park for Trout Pool Falls.
You'll need a car to drive the 21 km, to the other side of Lake Rotorua.
From State Highway 33, turn left into Okere Falls Road, and the car park is on your right, less than 300m up the road.
The Te Ana and Wangoio Falls are a popular walk just off State Highway 2, north of Napier.
The track is level, although you can get muddy up to Te Ana Falls, which you see at the last minute as you round the bend. This fall is so accessible that you can walk right up to it.
The walk to Tangoio Falls is a little more challenging as you go up in elevation a bit, and it can be very muddy under the protection of the trees. There is a well-built lookout for you to see the falls safely.
There is a large car park and picnic area on the right-hand side of the road, heading north on State Highway 2, 26 km north of Napier. Click here for Google Maps.
The walk to Maraetorara Falls is an easy half-kilometre walk beside the Maraetotara River. It's level all the way, and the falls at the end are well worth the walk.
You will love seeing these falls at the end of the track.
It is also a very quiet place, and you'll probably have the walk to yourself. You can also swim at this spot.
The quiet spot is a half-hour drive south of Napier off Maraetotara Road. Click here to open Google Maps for the exact location.
For the fans of Lord of the Rings, Tawhai Falls may look a little familiar.
Tawhai Falls was one of the filming places where Gollum caught a fish.
It's only a 10-minute walk to the waterfall. The first lookout you see is overlooking the falls, but if you go a bit further on, you will find the view in the photo below. This last bit is a bit tricky as you are walking on big boulders to get down to the river.
Taranaki Falls is a much longer walk especially if you do the loop walk, but it is very rewarding. Doing the loop walk is about 6km, which will take you about 2 hours.
The trail is good with some steps, and if you're short like me, the first step is always the steepest.
For the Silica Rapids walk, you start the track from just above the iSite is a way to take in the bush and walk beside the river. It's a 6.8km loop walk that should take about 2 hours to complete, although I didn't head back on Bruce Road, but the way I came.
There are a couple of spots to take photos of, like the Rusty Rocks and Golden Rapids, along the way.
All are fantastic waterfalls to see, and you can easily spend a weekend doing the other walks in the area including, the world-famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing, the best one-day walk in the world.
Taranaki Falls starts from behind the iSite in Whakapapa Village.
Tawhai Falls is only a 2.5km, or 2-minute drive from the turnoff to Whakapapa Village, or a 3.7km, or 4-minute drive back down from the Village.
Silica Rapids can be reached by the walk up from Whakapapa Village or further up Bruce Road if you don't want the long walk.
Mangawhereo Falls is only a minute's walk off the road. You have a great view of the top of the falls, and if you walk a bit further along the track, you can see them fall in their entirety.
The long drop of the falls, although you can hardly see the little bit of water.
The Waitonga Falls trail takes about one and a half hours to complete at 3.9km.
This walk is excellent for taking in the bush and has fantastic views of Mt. Ruapehu when you get on the boardwalk.
When you get to the waterfall, they are harder to see unless you're a bit of a mountain goat, and don't mind getting your feet wet as you cross the river.
It's best to do these walks after rain and not in the middle of summer like me during a drought.
Both waterfalls are off the Ohakune Mountain Road at the back of Ohakune township. If you go to the top of Mt. Ruapehu, you'll get to the Turoa ski field. You'll love the views across the country from up here.
You first come to Rere Falls when driving from Gisborne. There is a car park, lawn area and picnic tables to enjoy lunch. Two more minutes drive up the road is the Rere Rockslides.
For adventure seekers, the Rere Rockslides is the place to come to. Bring your boogie board or something safe to ride down the 60m waterslides on, but be warned that the rocks are sharp, so don't come off.
You should also be able to swim well as the pool at the bottom is deep at 4m.
It's a bit of a hike to get there at 58km NW of Gisborne, a 45-minute drive on Wharekopae Road, but it's worth it. The Falls are the first you come to, and the Rockslide is only 2km more up the road.
This easy-to-see waterfall is accessible to everyone of all ages and all abilities.
Located in Pukekura Park, its well-defined paths lead you around the park. It's also right next to the track, so there's no lookout or steps to negotiate.
There is plenty more to see in this park, walking through the bush, over a bridge and past lakes. Even a small zoo.
It's a short walk from central New Plymouth in Pukukura Park.
I hope you've enjoyed reading about the easy-to-get-to-waterfalls of the North Island and you will find time to see them while you're here.
I am not a hiker or very adventurous, so anyone who can do moderate exercise should be able to get to these waterfalls.
The sun in New Zealand is very strong, so remember to put on sunscreen, and take water to keep you hydrated on these walks.
Explore the outer coast of Pohatu Marine Reserve and marvel at its spectacular towering cliffs, rock stacks, reefs, and deep sea caves. Observe the diverse wildlife and marine species such as penguins, seals, various sea birds and possibly the world’s smallest dolphin!