The picturesque Whangarei Falls is 26.3 metres high and falls over steep basalt cliffs. The area is known as Otuihau to local iwi and was a good eeling spot. Mr Archibald Clapham brought the property in the late 1920s to prevent the falls being developed as a commercial water mill.
In 1946 a local businessmen’s association raised the purchase price by public subscription to vest the property as a public domain. It is still popular for picnics and walks. The open areas of the reserve are used for informal games and community events.