McLean Falls New Zealand is a popular waterfall walk in the Catlins Coastal Region to a rewarding, multi-levelled waterfall!

McLean Falls, Catlins New Zealand is a popular but quick stop worthy of any Catlin’s road trip itinerary. The waterfall is very easily accessible and is one of my personal favourite waterfalls in the area.

Essential New Zealand Travel Resources

How to Find Cheap Flights
Still in the planning stage of your trip? The best and easiest way to find cheap flights is to use an airfare search engine like Skyscanner.

TIP: If you’re flexible on dates, search for “Whole Month” to see a calendar result with the cheapest days to fly.

Comparing Best Deals on Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for hostels, hotels, guest houses, or resorts between Booking.com and Agoda, you’ll always get the best deals. I always search using the map feature to find accommodation in the best locations. Sometimes, if I want to stay in a place a little longer, I’ll use Airbnb.

TIP: For the best hostels, I usually compare reviews on Hostelworld, then check other booking sites to compare prices and deals.

Saving Money on Experiences and Tours
New Zealand is all about adventure and adrenaline. For the best deals on tours, adrenaline sports and experiences you’ll need to book online. I always use Klook, Viator and Get Your Guide. Booking in advance is the best way to get the best possible deals on Bungy, Milford Sound Trips and more!


Don’t Forget Adventure Travel Insurance
If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking adventures over poolside sips. By far, my two favorite companies for the most comprehensive adventure travel insurance is World Nomads and SafetyWing. If you’re on the fence, you can read the comparison article.

TIP: If you’re looking for a budget, reliable camper, Spaceships is a good bet. You’ll also find great car rental deals on RentalCars.com Also, make sure to download the Spaceships App, WikiCamps App, and Campermate App to find free campsites and facilities.


RELATED: Waipohatu Waterfall Loop in the Catlins


How to Get to McLean Falls

The McLean Falls is located on the Tautuku River and is best reached by private car or campervan. The road conditions are sealed, however, the last stretch of about 3 kilometres follows a gravel road before finishing at the large car park.

The best way to find it is to follow directions to the map pin below.

There are also plenty of signs on Chaslands Highway that will give you the warning to turn off. The road you’ll need to follow to the waterfall car park is called “Recastle Road.

McLean Falls Walk

Walk Difficulty: easy, 30-minute return.

The walk to one of Catlin’s most iconic waterfalls is a pleasant and easy one. The first section is boarded, before entering the native forest where you’ll follow the Tautuku River up towards the waterfalls.

There are actually numerous great freshwater swimming spots along the walk, so keep an eye out near the start of the track.

After about 10-15 minutes of walking, you’ll reach the lowest waterfall. However, you can’t stick around here too long, since the DOC have designated it as a rock-fall area. Keep going for another couple of minutes and you’ll reach the clearing for the two main waterfalls.

MCLEAN FALLS STREAM
MCLEAN FALLS CATLINS

RELATED: MATAI FALLS AND HORSESHOE FALLS IN THE CATLINS


McLean Falls Main Waterfall

Waterfall Height: 22 metres
MCLEAN FALLS CATLINS
Main waterfall at McLean Falls New Zealand

At the end of the walk, we were surprised to find out that there wasn’t a direct track access to the larger, main McLean Falls waterfall. However, that wasn’t too much of a problem, since it’s easy to scramble up the low rocks on the right side of the falls and then walking over to the main waterfall.

McLean Falls, Catlins
Rocks to climb to gain access to the main waterfall.

Still, this part isn’t really necessary, since you can still admire the lower cascading waterfalls and get a glimpse of Mclean Falls from here too.

MCLEAN FALLS CATLINS NEW ZEALAND

More Things to do In the Catlins

After snapping some photos and potentially taking a dip down on the calmer flows of the river, you’ll be ready to continue your Catlins road trip adventure!

If you enjoyed this guide to McLean Falls, Catlins New Zealand, make sure to check out some of my other free travel guides and articles below. You could also check out this full list of epic things to do in the Catlins or find more Catlins waterfalls here.

MCLEAN FALLS MAIN WATERFALL
MCLEAN FALLS AERIAL

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