Riding High by Josh Neilson in Okere Falls, New Zealand

Okere Falls is a small community on the banks of the Kaituna River and Lake Rotoiti on the North Island of New Zealand. The population is made up of raft guides, kayakers and mountain bikers. With access to all these amazing activities it was inevitable that soon enough someone would throw on a life jacket and jump a bike into the lake. I have been shooting extreme sports for the past 10 years and when I got a call to film the ramp with my drone I couldn’t pass it up. Local brothers, Cole and Ryan Lucas, built the ramp at their family holiday home and have been mastering the aerial tricks to practice for dirt jumps.

Name:Josh Neilson


Tell us about Okere Falls:

Okere Falls is a river village on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. It boasts some of New Zealand’s best whitewater rafting and Tutea Falls, the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall. With one store selling boutique food and a great selection of German beers, it is a very social and tight community.

A perfect day?

A perfect day here consists of a sunrise surf at Maketu Beach and returning for a kayak down the Kaituna River. An afternoon of mountain biking in the Redwoods Forest and then some German beers at the Okere Falls Store to end the day.

What is the best thing about Okere Falls?

Water!!! We are surrounded by lakes and rivers.

What is the worst?

The worst thing about Okere Falls is that it’s so hard to leave! Once you are here you try to avoid going anywhere else!

What would be surprising about Okere Falls to an outsider?

People who visit are instantly hooked. With all the activities right at your doorstep it’s quite a shock to some people.

Who are three of your favorite artists?

Ricks Terstappen, Skip Armstrong, Ansel Adams



Name:Josh Neilson

City:Okere Falls

Favorite place to eat:


Favorite place to drink:

Okere Falls Store

Local Tip:

There are hidden hot pools everywhere

Must Do:

Rafting on the Kaituna River