Falls River v4a5III**

Highest drop 22m

Public access, but courtesy call to Abel Tasman Canyons guiding company requested. Ph 0800 86 34 72

The guides will have the latest info on waterflows, anchor conditions and any new hazards. A call helps avoid traffic jams, and helps to keep everyone happy whilst sharing this wonderful place.


Water taxi access to a moderate to high flow canyon. A short sharp vertical section followed by a more open, fun and mellow section.

Commercial trips are run on demand by Abel Tasman Canyons. If you’re unsure about your skills, there’s no better way to learn, than to go with a guide.

The CanyonTopo for this trip is available directly from Abel Tasman Canyons on request

This canyon is fully described in the Canyoning in NZ guidebook.

5 Trip reports Log your trip

  1. Katerina says:

    01/2020 we found it dangerous to get from TR to TL to start of handline above R1. The rock at handline looks steep and is covered in moss and bolts for handline set-up are infrequent. So we bailed.

    The access path from contour at 390m is hard to find. No red ribbons on trees that would indicate the start. When you get to a rocky knob (spur) 10m off the main track, keep left and stick to the ridge that leads you down to the river.

    1. Sid Tinney says:

      Great to get into Falls on our 4 day kayak/canyoning mission up in Abel Tasman!

      We found the walk in pretty straightforward, though by my phone+watch GPS the final descent down the spur begins closer to 400m in elevation, with a fairly distinct track marked occasionally by silver ribbon heading straight down the obvious ridge, across a small saddle then steeply down to a flat part of the creek 100m upstream of the traverse start.

      Crossing from TR to TL required some balancy slab soloing above the flush over. A big tree has solidly wedged itself across the stream just before the handline anchors, so it could be possible to use that as an anchor to access the handline in higher flow.

      The traverse itself is quite mossy and greasy but basically very low angle slab traversing, with the hardest/slipperiest section between the first and second bolts.

      There was no sign of the bottom guided rappel bolt on R1, and the eddy TL looked pretty heinous. The move swinging through the base of the waterfall (on rope) to TR isn’t too bad, or there are also several spots to meat anchor the bottom of a guideline if required.

      R3 is no longer off a tree, and has gained a TL XX(X) anchor as a dry line, along with a TR XX anchor which would take you right through the flow, but it looked tricky to access.

      8m slide still goes!

      We found the potholes DC on TL completely covered with water, and had to go TR instead which made for a pretty spicy swim across the bottom aerated/hydraulic pool. I lined Grace across it with a rope.

      The final few jumps seem to have filled up with rocks and log debris, we pulled out the rope a few more times and abseiled off trees (no sling) as in a party of 2 it didn’t seem really worth checking for dicey small jumps.

      • Date -10/01/2023
      • Water level -normal
      • Anchor conditions -All in good condition
      • Group size -2
      • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -1:30/3:30/1:00
  2. Andrew W says:

    Descended 13th Feb 2018.
    Hand line at the start was a bit tricky and when looking at the pool pushing left we chickened out – and bashed up through the bush and down to the bottom of R1 and continued from there. It looked a fun abseil a shame we skipped it but a reminder to learn releasable abseils. We are still learning slowly.
    Anchors all in place. The rapel diversion bolt was still in place.

    1. Alice P says:

      Falls creek anchors have all survived the latest big floods. We replaced a bunch of sling as we went through so as of the start of the year it’s good to go.

      There is a new slip on TL into the pool at the bottom of R3 that has brought some logs down. Jump still looked like it went, just be aware of logs stucking out quite far under the water that might move with time.

      • Date -02/01/2023
      • Water level -lower than normal
      • Anchor conditions -we did some repairs
      • Group size -4
      • Time: approach/descent/return (eg: 1hr/4hrs/3mins) -

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