Kitekite Falls, Piha

#3 of 9 in Things to do in Piha
Must see · Waterfall · Nature / Park
Kitekite Falls is a scenic 3-tiered waterfall near Auckland, New Zealand. The falls drop a total of 40m. From the lookout on Kitekite track the falls appear even higher because there is white water running over rocks into a small pool from the upper swimming hole, then falling down into a large pool, then falling to a small pool before beginning an almost vertical descent in the final 3-tiers, making the total height closer to 80m. They are located on the Glen Esk stream near Piha Beach.
From the carpark at the end of Glenesk Road, directions are clearly signposted. A well formed loop track, used by around 30,000 people a year (2005), follows the Glen Esk Stream with minor undulations (on the south side) up to a lookout where you find a huge Macrocarpa bench seat to rest on and admire the view. The bench seat was made by offenders doing community work (2005). The track then descends down wooden steps to the base of the falls (40 minutes from the carpark). The track then crosses the stream next to the lower swimming hole and returns down the north side. However, instead of going down again, a walker can climb a reasonably steep track (the Connect Track) which begins about 100m from the base of the falls on the northern side of the stream. It takes about 15 minutes to get to the top of the falls. There is a good swimming hole at the top although the water is cool. From this high vantage point there are great views down the valley.
The area was milled for kauri from 1910-1921 until milling stopped. All the mature trees in the area were cut down. At the top of the falls, it is clear to see the notches in the rocks (rectangular cutouts for large pieces of wood to rest in). This was the location of the Glen Esk dam. The first attempt to drive logs down the falls resulted in their destruction on the rocks below and the dam was thereafter only used to flush the logs waiting in the stream below down to the mill. The remains of the heavy beams used can still be found in the stream today although they tend to move from time to time. In 2007 a beam fell, broke and half of it wedged itself into rocks at the base of the three tiered falls.
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Kitekite Falls reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
216 reviews
  • Besides the walk, the drive is enjoyable. If driving from Auckland, stop at Elevation Cafe. It has great views and good pizza. The Kitekite falls walk/hike has been closed for a while but it is...  more »
  • We had a morning to walk to the falls. After going through the wash station, we walked on the tracks to the base of the waterfall. There were a few viewpoints on the way there looking over the...  more »
  • The Kitekite track is well-maintained and enables you to have an easy and enjoyable walk. It gets really difficult going down to the falls though...but it was beautiful and well worth the effort.
  • This is like an actual pretty tall waterfall at a global level not just oh it’s good for New Zealand and it’s close by You can swim to a small area under the waterfall where the rock is over u sheltering u with some foot holds so u can chill and look out from behind the waterfall which is amazing
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