Kitekite Falls, Piha

4.8
#2 of 7 in Things to do in Piha
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.Kitekite Falls walkFrom 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.HistoryThe 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
169 reviews
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4.6
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  • I probably saw 10,000 (and I'm not exaggerating) waterfalls in NZ b/c two day-cruises were in pouring rain. And we saw many others throughout the two islands. But, Kitekite was beautiful and memorable...  more »
  • Check Auckland Council website before starting out for this track as this track (and almost all other tracks in the Waitakere Ranges are closed until further notice. When open, this is a great little ...  more »
  • The hike to the waterfall takes about 20 minutes and I consider a trail of easy access and physical level. Upon arriving at the waterfall, there is the option to cross the river and follow a trail of over 10 minutes, but more steeply to the top of the waterfall. Worth, for a short ride, especially if the day is hot. We went in January on a hot day and well worth the dive. The trail is monitored against a disease that many trees in the area have and to prevent the spread is requested that visitors to wipe your feet on entrance and exit the track.
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  • Easy 2km walk from the car park. It does get steep in places. I'd recommend wearing shoes for this walk. But carry slippers along to wear when you get there. Water at this waterfall can be very cold even on a hot day but once you get in, it's just perfect clear water you can swim in. Beautiful. Must do if you're in the Piha beach area.
  • Good fun walk. Not too difficult really. Make sure you visit the top, it’s well worth it for a good picture!
  • Very beautiful hiking, well signed and accessible. You can to top of the fall and swim there in a king of natural pool (very cold water). You can swim where the falls end as well.
  • Just beautiful. What a great experience to swim in a waterfall. A pleasant walk to get there. We walked from the campgrounds where we were staying at Piha beach. It took about 40 mins each way. Very worth while. Water was freezing but clear and refreshing after the walk. I’d say wear runners for the walk but take things or shoes to swim in as there are some sharp rocks at the waterfall but we managed with just runners and then sat in the sun to dry off. Spotted some eels in the water.
  • This is an amazing walk with a fantastic ending. Would recommend for anyone who walks regularly as there are a few steep and tiring parts of the track that might be demanding for beginner walkers. I wouldn't take a stroller as there are plenty of steps and steep, slippery parts especially after rainfall. Don't forget your camera because the views and waterfalls are beautiful. Make sure you pack a water bottle because it is a long walk there and back.
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