It only takes a 30 minute walk to reach the Sharplin Falls, cascading off Mt Somers. They are accessed from the Sharplin Falls carpark, near Staveley in mid Canterbury, about 100km southwest of Christchurch. From the carpark, it is an easy stroll, with just a few steep steps to negotiate.
Update August 2017. This track is now permanently closed. (Click here for more information.)
The track winds through shady beech forest with an understory of ferns.
The Falls plummet seven metres down the boulder-strewn Bowyers Stream.
After the earthquake in September 2010, the Sharplin Falls Track was closed while repairs were carried out. This very large boulder had been shaken loose and fallen through the bush, over the pathway, and careered on down the hill, leaving battered trees in its wake. The track reopened in January 2011, with a reminder that it was always prone to rock fall, even before the earthquake.
The boulder came hurtling down from around the corner upper left, wiping out the old track.