Waipori Falls

Clutha District

Waipori Falls/Crystal Falls

A scenic drive and a great little hike leads to a very wild looking area. If you in the Dunedin area and want to explore waterfalls, this one has to be on your list. Beautiful in Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter. And yes I have been here for all the seasons.


Drive to the township of Waipori Falls (don't get confused with the township of Waipori, which is a lot further up the road). Follow the signs for the falls, but if in doubt, drive down to the power station and park around there somewhere. The walking trail heads up the valley for a nice 20 minute stroll. You will get to the viewing platform to see the falls, but really it's best to get wild and get up close and personal. Don't fall in the water! It's cold as.

Other adventures in close proximity

Helpful links

Frozen hoar frosts and icicle's!

I've been to these falls a number of times, but lets dwell for a moment on the last time I went. It was the dead of winter, -9C in North East Valley that morning. I had convinced my little brother Jeff to join me for the day as long as I gave him driving lessons. Fair deal. The roads were icy and not many people had chosen to leave there warm beds quite yet, so the drive out to the plains was unobstructed. The sun was shinning bright, and no clouds in the sky, to me thats a pretty good start. As we turned down the Waipori/Berwick road we started to notice a thick layer of gray fog, lying low up ahead. I had a feeling I knew what this was. A hoar frost in action.

We drove straight into the middle of it. Stopped the car and grabbed the camera. There was ice everywhere, forming on all types of stuff. The gate we stopped beside was covered with spiky crystals in every direction. Trees were a white that looked like a fairly tale. Aside from the fact it was below freezing and I couldn't tell where the sun was anymore, we didn't stay to long, there was another adventure ahead.

As we drove up the windy road it was quite apparent that parts of this valley don't see the sun all winter. Frozen sections of bush and rock on all sides. We got to the Power plant parking lot and jumped out. Then jumped again when we realized how cold it was. No time like the present to start walking to warm up. The 20 minute walk is an easy one on a well maintained track. We were at the viewing platform in no time. Didn't waste any time and climbed around the fence. I knew where I wanted to be. Crossing the river was quite tricky with black ice over every rock. We spent about 2 hours climbing over all sorts of things and shooting every angle I could to get icicles in my frame. On the way home I taught someone how to drive. That was way more sketchy than frozen waterfalls could ever be.

Truly a great day with great company - Stu