Roaring Billy Falls is one of three accessible (and very scenic) waterfalls along the Haast Pass, the road which takes you to the West Coast from Wanaka.
Walking to Roaring Billy Falls
It’s a short forest walk (10-15 minute) to the banks of the Haast River, where you’ll need to walk over plenty of stones to reach the river. It’s worth it though, for the falls as well as the river views. You might see some boats in the river (which always look good in photos) but make sure you bring some insect repellent as this place is lousy with sandflies. Every time I’d take a photo one (or more) would land on my arms and hands — very annoying!
Roaring Billy Falls
You can’t get very close to Roaring Billy Falls due to the wide river flowing in front of it, but it’s still an impressive sight from a distance. It crashes 30 metres down a densely forested hill and has many different little cascades. The valley is very wide, meaning you’ll see some great views of the river and surrounding hills and mountains. The river is an exotic blue / green colour — Mount Aspiring National Park really knows how to do water right!
I tried to research online how Roaring Billy Falls got its name, but I couldn’t find any information! I guess it’s a good thing – it allows each of us to make up our own story. Mine involves Billy Zane getting lost while shooting a movie in Mount Aspiring National Park. He makes it to Roaring Billy Falls (it had a different name back then, obviously) and yells (or roars) at a boat passing by him on the Haast River. Either that or he got annoyed by all the sandflies and screamed out in frustration.
Getting to Roaring Billy Falls
Roaring Billy Falls is located on the road between Wanaka and the West Coast (115 km from Wanaka / 27 km from Haast). It makes for one of the most spectacular roads in New Zealand. I’ve written more posts about this region — check them out!
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