6 Amazing Waterfalls near Christchurch
New Zealand is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, and nestled within these scenic views are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. If you’re in Christchurch and looking to explore the natural beauty of the region, embarking on day trips to discover nearby waterfalls is an experience you won’t want to miss.
These waterfalls, each with its unique allure, are easily accessible from Christchurch, making them perfect for a day of adventure amidst the tranquillity of nature. From the awe-inspiring cascades of the Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall to the serene flow of the Rakaia Gorge Walkway Waterfalls, there’s a scenic wonder waiting for every kind of traveller.
Whether you’re an avid hiker seeking your next challenge or a family looking for a serene picnic spot, these waterfalls offer a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. With their lush surroundings and soothing sounds, they create a sense of peace that is quintessentially New Zealand.
Stay tuned as we explore these hidden gems and provide all the necessary information to make your waterfall chasing journey a breeze. Get ready to be captivated by the enchanting waterfalls near Christchurch.
One of the most dramatic waterfalls you’ll find near Christchurch is the Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall. Situated in the heart of Arthur’s Pass National Park, this waterfall is a magnificent spectacle with water cascading from a height of 131 meters.
The sight of the waterfall crashing down into the basin below is simply awe-inspiring, and the sound of the powerful water echoes around the surrounding mountains, providing a captivating sensory experience.
Arthur’s Pass, the home of ‘Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall’, is about 153 kilometers west of Christchurch – roughly a two-hour drive.
Starting from Christchurch, you would take State Highway 73, also known as the Great Alpine Highway, heading west. This journey takes you through the Canterbury Plains and beautiful mountain scenery, before finally reaching Arthur’s Pass.
From the Arthur’s Pass Village car park, the track to Devil’s Punchbowl Waterfall starts across the road and is well signposted. It’s a moderately challenging climb with stairs and steady uphill sections. However, the spectacular view of the waterfall at the end makes the effort well worth it!
The entire walk, there and back, takes about an hour, depending on your pace. Remember to wear good walking shoes and carry water. This trek is manageable for most fitness levels but may not be suitable for those with mobility issues due to its steep ascent.
The Rakaia Gorge Walkway Waterfalls in the stunning Rakaia Gorge are among the hidden treasures near Christchurch. This remarkable area provides visitors with more than just one waterfall, and their cascading waters add to the enchanting beauty of the turquoise-hued Rakaia River.
The walkway offers breathtaking views of the gorge, the waterfalls, and the surrounding mountain ranges. The serene ambiance, coupled with the rhythmic sound of flowing water, make this a perfect spot for a peaceful day out in nature.
H3: Location and Distance from Christchurch
The Rakaia Gorge is located approximately 68 kilometers southwest of Christchurch, making it about an hour’s drive.
H3: How to Get There from Christchurch
To reach Rakaia Gorge from Christchurch, you’ll need to take the State Highway 77, also known as the Inland Scenic Route. Follow this route westward through the charming town of Windwhistle until you reach the Rakaia Gorge.
H3: Trek Difficulty
The Rakaia Gorge Walkway, leading to the waterfalls, is a relatively easy trek with gentle slopes and a well-defined path. The entire loop takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete, depending on your pace.
The trek is suitable for most ages and fitness levels, but remember to wear comfortable shoes and bring water. It offers not only the rewarding sight of the waterfalls but also panoramic views of the picturesque gorge and the nearby Southern Alps.
Situated in the heart of a private nature reserve in the Malvern Hills, Washpen Falls is a truly unique and enchanting waterfall. This hidden gem is surrounded by lush native bush and offers an intimate experience with nature. The waterfall itself cascades into a serene pool, creating a peaceful ambiance that makes it a perfect spot for reflection and relaxation.
Washpen Falls is located approximately 60 kilometers west of Christchurch, which is about a one-hour drive, making it an excellent option for a day trip.
From Christchurch, take State Highway 73 westbound, heading towards Darfield. From Darfield, turn onto the Malvern Hills Road and follow the signs to Washpen Falls.
The trek to Washpen Falls involves a reasonably gentle but steady incline, making it a moderate level walk. The trail winds through ancient forest, across streams, and past a variety of wildlife. From the car park, the round-trip walk to the falls and back will take approximately two hours, depending on your pace.
Bear in mind that there is a small fee to access the track, as it is on private land. This fee contributes to the maintenance of the track and the preservation of this beautiful spot. Despite this, the stunning views and tranquil surroundings make Washpen Falls a must-visit destination for waterfall chasers.
Tucked away in the quaint seaside town of Akaroa, Newton’s Waterfall is a charming sight to behold. Named after the Newton family who were early settlers in Akaroa, this waterfall is nestled amidst a beautiful woodland, which adds to its enchanting allure.
Newton’s Waterfall is located around 85 kilometers southeast of Christchurch in the Banks Peninsula, approximately a 1 hour and 30-minute drive.
From Christchurch, you’ll take State Highway 75 towards Akaroa. Once in Akaroa, the waterfall is located just a short walk from Rue Jolie in the heart of the town.
The trek to Newton’s Waterfall from the car park is easy and suitable for all fitness levels. It’s a short walk through a lovely path that leads you right to the waterfall. The waterfall is most impressive after heavy rain, so be sure to check the weather forecast before your visit.
Newton’s Waterfall offers not just the sight of a tranquil cascade but also the opportunity to explore the historic and picturesque town of Akaroa. Don’t forget to visit the local shops and restaurants in the area to make the most of your trip!
Located deep in the Oxford Forest, Ryde Falls is a series of five picturesque cascades that tumble through a verdant, mossy paradise. The largest and most impressive of these drops around 15 meters, making for a breathtaking spectacle. The ambiance here is one of untouched, serene wilderness, making it a dream destination for those who appreciate New Zealand’s stunning natural beauty.
Ryde Falls is approximately 59 kilometers north-west from Christchurch, which equates to just under an hour’s drive.
To get to Ryde Falls from Christchurch, take State Highway 1 towards Sheffield Road. Follow Sheffield Road until you reach Oxford Road, then continue on the Inland Scenic Route 72 until you reach Coopers Creek. From there, follow the signs to the Wharfedale Track Carpark.
The trek to Ryde Falls from the car park involves a two to three-hour round trip, depending on your pace. The track is considered easy to moderate as it leads through a beautiful forest, though the final section can be steep and slippery when wet. Therefore, sturdy shoes are recommended.
The Ryde Falls walk offers not only the beautiful falls themselves but the opportunity to experience the rich biodiversity of the Oxford Forest. Don’t forget to bring your camera and a picnic – the lower falls provide the perfect backdrop for a scenic lunch!
Nestled within the spectacular Arthur’s Pass National Park, Avalanche Creek Falls is a captivating sight to behold. This multi-tiered waterfall cascades down the mountainside, creating a stunning display of nature’s power and beauty. The rushing water and lush surroundings make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts.
Avalanche Creek Falls is located approximately 163 kilometers northwest of Christchurch, which is about a 2-hour and 15-minute drive.
To reach Avalanche Creek Falls from Christchurch, you’ll need to take State Highway 73, also known as the Great Alpine Highway, towards Arthur’s Pass. Once in Arthur’s Pass, there are signs guiding you to the Avalanche Creek Falls car park.
The trek from the car park to Avalanche Creek Falls is relatively easy, with a well-maintained track that winds through native forest and alongside Avalanche Creek. The walk takes approximately 15-20 minutes and is suitable for most fitness levels.
While exploring the falls, be mindful of the surrounding terrain as it can be slippery, especially during wet weather. Take the time to savor the beauty of the falls and the peacefulness of the surrounding wilderness.
Avalanche Creek Falls is a true gem in Arthur’s Pass, offering a serene escape into nature’s wonders. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the mesmerizing beauty of this waterfall and the breathtaking landscapes of the national park.
Exploring the waterfalls near Christchurch is truly a refreshing and rewarding way to experience the natural wonders of New Zealand. Each waterfall on our list, with its unique charm and surrounding beauty, promises a distinct and memorable adventure.
We encourage you to embark on your very own Christchurch exploration to experience the scenic beauty of these waterfalls. As you plan your trip, don’t forget to consider the trek’s difficulty level and what each location uniquely offers – whether it’s a peaceful picnic spot, a stunning photo opportunity, or a moment of tranquility amidst the soothing sounds of cascading water.
After your visits, we’d love to hear about your adventures! Share your stories and pictures in the comments section. Your experiences may inspire other readers and help them plan their own waterfall explorations.
Start your waterfall adventure today and discover the beauty that lies just beyond Christchurch!
June 14, 2023 by Your friends at Hotel 115