Let’s kick off with a spectacular one: the Omanawa Falls! It is 35 meters high and you can walk behind the waterfall! It used to be accessible with a 30 minute easy walk BUT that walk is closed which is probably the reason that this waterfall isn’t overwhelmed with tourists. You can still reach it over a dangerous unofficial track over a steep hill, which takes at least one hour each way, although it’s not recommended to do so.
The Omanawa Falls are just a 30-minute drive from Tauranga, and a short walk takes you to a viewing point over the 35-meter high waterfall. That is, if the track wasn't closed for safety reasons. Gates close off the pathway, so officially it's not allowed to visit. Beyond the viewpoint is also a closed-off tunnel, which used to take you directly to the bottom of the falls. This made it a very easy walk, but since the tunnel wasn't safe anymore, they decided to close the whole track many years ago. Yes, this makes visiting the falls way harder, and less safe! But although it's closed off, there are still an average of 60 people a day that visit the falls anyway. People created a sketchy sort of 'path' over the hill and tunnel, to still get to the waterfall.
WARNING: The track is closed for a reason, people have been seriously injured trying to reach these falls and recently someone didn't survive his visit. So consider this well before you decide to make the way over to the falls and read this blog first so you know what awaits you. The ViewpointTo get to the falls, you just put it in Google Maps and you'll have to park next to the road. There is a wide path which is blocked by a fence and signs that say the track is closed. You can easily jump over the fence, and this part of the track is just an easy 10-minute walk.
We then headed to a very beautiful waterfall called Omanawa falls. From the viewing platform (which is on top of the valley), one can see the valley covered with thick trees and an opening in the middle of nowhere from where the waterfall pours directly into a pool of crystal clear water. The approach route to go near the waterfall is closed and while almost all articles about Omanawa Falls are about how people have gotten injured trying to get there, if you are little careful, it would take you an hour to hike down to the waterfall. Standing right under the falls, one is swept away the magnificence of the place.