Walking Notes: Carew Falls

From the lake's edge, the white skein of the Carew Falls provide an impressive backdrop to the Lake Brunner Lodge at Mitchells.


Drive to Mitchells by turning off SH73 at Kumara or Lake Poerua, or by driving around the lake from Moana. A small car park is located just out of Mitchells, beyond a bridge to the east.

Carew Falls: 45 min, easy

The forest near the Falls is rich with diversity, scrambling with climbers, vines and epiphytes. Even the trees overhanging the car park support dozens of ferns and other perching and pendulous species. The track climbs within earshot of the river on an easy track. Before long it bursts onto massive granite boulders at the foot of the Falls. On a sunny day, this is an excellent lunch spot.

Up close, the water is visibly brown, stained with tannins leached from the soils of the basin above. Although not especially tall, they are still impressive, and it is fascinating to explore with the eye the intricate pattern of the component rivulets down the granite face of the Falls.


  • Cole18383 This is the site of a tragic accident. Ted and Irene (Renee) Morgan, who owned the farm and rebuilt the Mitchells hotel in 1935, also made a hydro electricity scheme by harnessing the waterfalls. In 1949, their only son George, aged 24, returned from Lincoln College and was easing into managing the hotel when tragedy struck. Its believed he was checking the water race for any debris that could impede flow to the electricity scheme, when he slipped and fell. His body was recovered from a pool at the base of the hundred foot waterfall.
    22 June 2012
  • glennj glennj This area is of interest for a couple of reasons in addition to the Falls. Within what is now reserve just east of Carew Creek there are some very large diameter rimu and matai trees. I'm talking just in excess of 200cm diameter for the rimu with a couple of the matai being far bigger than that. These trees don't have tracks to them but are better specimens than others I've seen on my travels that have tourist tracks to them. Below the falls there was once a very early private power scheme. Thirty plus years ago there were lots of relics still there.
    27 August 2010
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Creator: Matthew Added 24 June 200124 June 2001 by Matthew. No revisions.
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