Rainbow Falls

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The Rainbow Falls, Māori name Waianiwaniwa, (Waters of the Rainbow), are a single-drop waterfall located on the Kerikeri Rivernear Kerikeri in New Zealand.

Unlike most New Zealand waterfalls which are created by the erosion of soft rock, the Rainbow Falls are sited on a hard basalt layer of rock beside softer mudstone. The falls were formed when water eroded the mudstone. The 27 metre waterfall is popular with tourists and is regularly photographed from an adjoining Department of Conservation area.

The Rainbow Falls Walk is along a track which takes about 10 minutes to traverse to connect to the Kerikeri River Track which is about 3.5 km long and takes about 1.5 hours to walk. It leads to the Kerikeri Basin where Kerikeri’s old buildings are sited, the Stone Store, Mission House and St James Church, plus Rewa’s Village and historic Kororipo Pa. The track follows the north bank of the River and passes through kiwi habitat and regenerating native trees such as stands of young kauri and totara.



You can only see a rainbows that is caused by sunlight when you are standing with your back towards the sun. This is because rainbows are caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets (find out more about rainbows).The water droplets in this case don’t come from rain, but from all the small water droplets that surround the falling water.The viewing area for the rainbow falls is east of the falls. If you want to have the sun in your back while you look at the falls, you need to do so in the morning because the sun rises in the east.



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Location -35.2142, 173.9422
Elevation 0 feet (asl)


Total Height 82 feet 25 meters
Tallest Drop 82 feet 25 meters
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Form Plunge
Stream Kerikeri River
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