Rainbow Falls Kerikeri

Kerikeri lies in the Bay of Islands, on the east coast. It has a very pleasant subtropical climate with stunning bays and inlets, as well as some very nice bush walks.

Rainbow Falls Kerikeri – Facts

One of these walks is the Kerikeri Walkway whose most beautiful spot is the Rainbow Falls. Its name was not given by the European settlers, it was simply translated from the Maori name “Waianiwaniwa”, literally meaning “water rainbow”.

  • It is a single-drop, 27 m (88 ft) high waterfall.
  • Rainbow Falls were formed after water eroded the mudstone beside a hard basalt layer.
  • Basalt lava fields of the area are results of volcanic eruptions that took place some 200 million years ago.
  • The Kerikeri Walkway or Kerikeri River Track is 3.5 km (2.2 mi) long passing through native vegetation including kauri and totara trees and tree ferns.
  • You can swim in the pool at the foot of the falls and also explore it by kayak.
  • You can have a nice view of the falls from the top as well.

Rainbow Falls Kerikeri – Inspiration

Rainbow Falls is one of the most easily accessible waterfalls in New Zealand.
It is situated only about 200 m from the Rainbow Falls Road and car park, but it is a much nicer way of getting to the falls by waking the Kerikeri Walkway from the Stone Store Basin going along the Kerikeri River in the midst of native bush and gently flowing water.
When I took these photos it was not the first time I saw the falls. I revisited them after I had seen them in the afternoon some days before.
Having checked its orientation in terms of sunrise and sunset, I realized I would need to return later on a clear day just after sunrise when the rays of the sun would hit the water droplets in an ideal angle to form the rainbow.

Raibow Falls Kerikeri, long exposure
Long exposure of the falls with the rainbow.
So a few days later I got up early, walked the track towards my “beautiful subject” excitedly and hoped I would get what I had anticipated. The reward of my shortened sleeping time was right in front of my eyes.
The vivid hues of the rainbow were crafted finely by the low-angle sunlight. I made shots both with my zoom and wide angle lenses as you can see.
As a result, due to the longer exposure, the water became smooth and silky—the way you never see it with your own eyes. Many times this kind of technique is used by photographers to give a more “artistic feel” to their waterfall images.
The main image at the top was made with my 80-200 mm Nikkor zoom lens so I could “narrow down” the frame area to capture just the colours and the falling water.
Text and photographs © Daniel Kerek
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