Dunedin

School Creek Falls, Dunedin

I lived a fair chunk of my life in Dunedin never knowing that School Creek Falls existed. How cool is the fact there’s an awesome waterfall amidst lush forest less than 10 minutes drive from the centre of the city? School Creek Falls is located in the Ross Creek area and is only five minutes’ walk from the car park (which is really just a street next to a golf course) — it’s easily the most accessible waterfall in Dunedin.

School Creek Falls

After an easy (but sometimes muddy) downhill walk you’ll reach a fork in the road. Left will take you to School Creek Falls and right will take you to a river crossing and another Ross Creek track.

School Creek Falls surprised me. I wasn’t expecting a waterfall this good to be so close to the city. It’s around 30 metres high and snakes down the cliff before opening out to the creek below. It’s hard to capture the whole thing properly — it definitely looks more impressive in person! You can walk down to the edge of the creek but it does get muddy after rain (which happens quite often in Dunedin).

School Creek Falls, Dunedin, New Zealand

Other small waterfalls

There are some other small waterfalls nearby — you’ll see them when walking towards the Ross Creek Reservoir (and some other tracks in the area). I climbed down a slippery bank to get a better photo of one and struggled to get back up — I must have ended up looking like someone on washing powder commercial. I didn’t even get a good photo!

On a more recent visit we managed to get closer to a couple of small waterfalls. Learn from my mistake and don’t venture down any steep, muddy paths and stick to the easier viewpoints.

Small waterfall near School Creek Falls, Dunedin, New Zealand

Hiking at Ross Creek

There are heaps of tracks at Ross Creek, some of which are closed until early 2018. I’ll be writing a full post about the area when all the tracks are open again. We did do a hike there recently though and saw some cool things, including a nice set of rapids, lots of native birds and the Ross Creek Reservoir. You could spend hours hiking at Ross Creek — it mostly attracts locals but tourists will also enjoy it.

Hiking at Ross Creek -- past School Creek Falls, Dunedin, New Zealand

Getting to School Creek Falls

School Creek Falls is located next to Balmacuean Golf Course. Head up the hill from town (Stuart St or Drivers Road) to Highgate and then turn onto Balmacewen Road, then onto Pilkington St then left onto Cannington Road. You’ll see the start of the track soon after – there’s no car park but there are plenty of parks on the street.

Nicols Falls

Dunedin is also home to another impressive waterfall. Hiking to Nicols Falls is a more arduous affair but it’s well worth doing. You can also see glow worms on a nearby track.

READ MORE: Nicols Falls, Dunedin

Hiking to Nicols Falls, Dunedin, New Zealand

Nicols Falls

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who has just returned home after 6 years abroad. Join me as I see as much of the South Island as I can.
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