Maruia Falls was a quick pullover stop for us as we drove from Nelson to the west coast of the South Island. The drive gave us a glimpse of the beauty of the South Island we were about to witness in the upcoming two weeks.
When you arrive, there is a viewing platform right next to the parking lot. There’s a picnic bench where you can rest and have a quick bite. As always, we munched on some sandwiches made fresh from the RV.
Unfortunately, you don’t get a great view from the picnic table because of the fence obstructing your view. But you can get an okay view of the falls when you’re standing right by the fence. If you head down the short trail to the right, you can get much closer and a much better view of the falls. The sign says “best view” and they don’t lie.
We didn’t stay long because we were chased off the shore by all the sand flies feasting on us. I swear, I was getting bitten NON STOP.
Reminder: Wear long sleeves and pants and bring lots of bug repellant!
Honestly, even if there weren’t any sand flies, I don’t think we would have stayed very long anyway. The waterfall is impressive and beautiful but I don’t think I would go out of my way just to see it. There’s much more exciting and unique scenery elsewhere on the South Island.
Recommendation: Visit Maruia Falls if it’s along your route to another destination. It makes for a good rest stop but otherwise I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.
GPS Coordinates: -41.859232 172.253012
Hours: open all day