About this park
Part of the Hunua Ranges, the Hunua Falls area has a large, flat area with picnic tables, and toilets only 10m from the large car park.
The Hunua Falls ‘pool’ looks a relatively safe place to swim, however looks are deceiving. There are environmental dangers here that are not replicated in many other aquatic environments, and there have been a number of drowning deaths and near miss incidents in the Falls ‘pool’.
It is not recommended that you swim at the Hunua Falls due to:
Deep water – 17 metres at the deepest with sudden drop offs
Cold water – which can be below 15.1◦c
Fresh water – which is not as buoyant as saltwater
Aerated water – at the bottom of the falls further reducing buoyancy
Slippery rocks - both submerged and on the face of the falls
Murky water – reducing visibility of submerged objects
Flooding can cause dramatic increases in water levels and flows
No lifeguard service
||Open 24 hours
|Summer gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
|Winter gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
(Non daylight savings)
How to get to Hunua Falls
Physical Address: Falls Road, Hunua
Just before entering the village, turn left into White Road, then right into Falls Road and follow this road to Hunua Falls.
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Distance from Auckland CBD
Take Falls Road to the end of the road, the car park is close to information board, toilets and telephone.
Māori used the hills and forests of the Hūnua Ranges primarily as a source of food and timber, and as a refuge rather than for permanent residence.
Rugged terrain, poor soils and difficult access meant this land was the last in the Auckland region to be settled by Europeans. From around 1870 parts of the forest were cleared for farming and for timber, but farming was always a marginal activity here.
However, the Hu-nua Falls have been a popular attraction for Aucklanders since Victorian times, when they were known as the “Wairoa Falls” and visitors travelled by steamer to Clevedon and took day trips to the falls.
Two manganese mines have operated in the Hünua Ranges. During World War II, ore from a mine in the Moumoukai Valley was transported from the hilltop via a flying fox to a railway on the valley floor.
But water was to be the main resource taken from the Hünua Ranges. The four water supply dams there include the Mangatangi Reservoir, which is New Zealand’s largest water supply dam and second largest earth dam. The extensive 169-hectare lake holds 37 million cubic metres of water and has an average daily yield of 101,100 cubic metres.
The Auckland City Council had begun purchasing land in the Hünua Ranges for water supply purposes in the 1940s, acquiring almost all of the ranges by 1960. In 1965 the agency that was to become the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) took over metropolitan water supply and management of the water catchment areas. The land was transferred to the restructured and renamed ARC for park purposes in 1992. About a third of the land is planted in pine trees. A commercial forestry company leases this area from the Council and access is restricted for safety reasons.