Thunder Creek Falls, New Zealand – Guide for Travelers
May 20, 2018
Thunder Creek Falls, New Zealand
In this guide, I have written about everything you need to know about Thunder Creek Falls. This blog includes information on how to get there, the trail, and what facilities are available.
Along the windy roads that lead south to Wanaka and Queenstown, you can stumble upon a few breathtaking hidden gems. The journey that takes you through New Zealand’s glacier country, beautiful forests and mountains landscapes is a well-traveled one. However, it can be easy to miss some highlights (including Thunder Creek Falls) as you get lost in the amazing views.
Most times, only a small sign that can be hidden by branches is all that points you in the right direction. However, to make things easier and to ensure you to get to experience this magical place, I have written a short guide on everything you need to know about Thunder Creek Falls!
What is Thunder Creek Falls, New Zealand?
Thunder Creek Falls is a 96m high waterfall that feeds into the Haast River. The waterfall is fed by melting glacier water and the entire area is pristine.
The waterfall is made up of one single stream that bursts out from the steep cliffs that line the Haast River. That cliff is covered in thick, green, lush vegetation.
Where is Thunder Creek Falls located?
Thunder Creek Falls is located only 1.5 hours north of Wanaka.
To get there take South Highway 6 and head north for 90km until you see the sign. There is a small carpark on the left side (heading north) and a large pullover bay on the right!
If you are heading in the other direction then the falls are a 2 hour, 170km drive from Fox Glacier Township heading south.
You can easily find the location on Google maps!
How long is the hike to Thunder Creek Falls?
The hike to Thunder Creek Falls is only 5 minutes at most and the path is well maintained and flat.
This hike (if you can even call it that) could be completed by almost anyone and the path could even be accessed by wheelchair. You don’t even need shoes, thongs (flip-flops) would suffice.
Are there any facilities at Thunder Creek Falls?
There are no toilets at Thunder Creek Falls.
There is a viewpoint at the end of the path and a few stairs that lead down to the river if you want to get a closer look.
Fox Glacier – located near Franz Joseph, Fox Glacier is another cool place to visit. Seeing the signs that show how the glacier is retreating is a real eye-opener!
Franz Joseph glacier – Franz Joseph is New Zealand’s most popular glacier and the free hike to the lookout is truly a site worth seeing.
Blue Pools – This amazing blue water is definitely worth checking out! There is also a pretty cool suspension bridge here!
Fantail Falls – This waterfall is not as amazing as Thunder Creek Falls, however, it’s a great place to check out and explore!
Overall, Thunder Creek Falls was for sure one of my highlights on our journey from Fox Glacier to Queenstown. The waterfall is really something special and it is a great place to enjoy a quiet lunch and a breath of fresh air.
I hope this blog post has both helped and inspired your amazing journey through this amazing country. New Zealand’s landscapes never stop inspiring us!