The Karakariki Scenic Reserve was originally set aside as a water conservation reserve. The reserve covers about 486 hectares, and is accessible across private farmland from the end of Karakariki Valley Road, off Karakariki Road which branches off SH23 between Hamilton and Raglan, near Whatawhata. At one time the forest was dominated by kauri but this was milled out in the early 1900s. There is a short, relatively easy, track leading from the end of Karakariki Valley Road to a small waterfall. The track then continues up a steeper hill section, ending at a fenceline but without any views.
The waterfall apparently does not have an official name, despite being shown on Google Maps as Karakariki Waterfall. Karakariki Stream is actually somewhat further to the south. The track to the waterfall and beyond is known as Karakariki Track, with a description and a few photos on the DoC web site. There are several streams joining near the waterfall, including Mangapapa Stream, Tuoro Stream and Whakakai Stream. The first two are presumably the ones crossed on the last swing bridge before the waterfall, with Whakakai Stream appearing on the topographic map to be the waterfall stream. Continue reading