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McLean Falls, Papatowai

#2 of 6 in Things to do in Papatowai
Waterfall Nature / Park
The McLean Falls on the Tautuku River in Catlins Forest Park descend a number of steep drop offs and terraces, with the very top of the waterfall, where it meets its first waterpool being 22-metres. It then descends for many more metres over a series of terraces. The McLean Falls are often described as the most spectacular in the region, with its sister waterfall, Purakanui being the most visited, due to it being more easily accessible.The entrance to the McLean Falls River Walk is three kilometres from the Southern Scenic Route on Rewcastle Road. The track from the road to the falls passes through a variety of native forest and shrub types: Rimu, Kamahi, divaricating shrubland, huge tree fuchsia, stands of olearia and podocarp forest.A footbridge then crosses the subsidiary, Duckaday Creek, named by the early settler, Doug McLean, who used to bathe in it from time to time. The walk follows an easy grade along the Tautuku River valley with views of the river and bush. The path, including boardwalks and footbridges, is maintained by the Department of Conservation and is regularly gravelled.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
41 reviews
  • There's a long gravel drive (3km but it felt longer) to get here but the walking track is well maintained and picturesque. It took us the full 40 minutes to walk each way. There are a lot of stairs at...  more »
  • To see the falls. Nice bush walk with quite a few stairs to negotiate. Medium fitness level. Lovely falls in a few different levels. Pleased I did it even though we are travelling by motorcycle and gr...  more »
  • It was a pleasant walk through the rainforest to get to these beautiful falls. They are quite large and photos don't show this. There are a number of steps at the end but it is worth it. It took my hu...  more »

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