Browne Falls

Coordinates: 45°23′55″S 167°5′7″E / 45.39861°S 167.08528°E / -45.39861; 167.08528
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Browne Falls
Browne Falls in summer with very low water flow
LocationDoubtful Sound, New Zealand
Total height619 or 836 metres
Number of drops6
World height ranking10[1]

Browne Falls is a waterfall above Doubtful Sound, which is located in Fiordland National Park, New Zealand. In a temperate rain forest, the falls cascade down to the fiord near Hall Arm. Heights of 619 metres[2] and 836 metres[3] have been given for the falls. Their source is a tarn called Lake Browne (836 m above sea level) which when full, overflows down the side of the mountain face (similar to Sutherland's source). The stream makes 836 m height difference over 1,130 m horizontal difference, thus the mean gradient of stream is 42 degrees.[4] This comparatively low angle makes the falls less impressive.

The falls are one of the two candidates for the title of New Zealand's highest waterfall. The other is sourced from a tarn behind Elizabeth Island which is also in Fiordland.

The falls are named after pioneering aerial photographer, Victor Carlyle Browne, who discovered Lake Browne and the associated falls on one of his flights over Fiordland in the 1940s.[5][6]

There are at least two other notable waterfalls falling to Doubtful Sound: Helena Falls and Lady Alice Falls.

Natural history[edit]

There is a diversity of plant and birdlife in the vicinity and watershed of Browne Falls. Extensive stands of nothofagus dominated trees are present along with a wide variety of understory ferns and shrubs; examples of the forest floor vegetation include crown fern (Lomaria discolor).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ranking based on the 836 m height. World's Tallest Waterfalls Archived 23 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine, World Waterfall Database. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  2. ^ Cheng, Johnny. (2009). World's Highest Falls: Browne Falls
  3. ^ Bryan Swan & Dean Goss, (2004). Browne Falls Archived 1 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine. World Waterfall Database. Retrieved 20 May 2009.
  4. ^ "Browne Falls". Wondermondo.
  5. ^ Air-photo pioneer dies, The Press, 18 September 1980, p. 11. Copy online: [1].
  6. ^ Crean, Mike (11 March 2011). "Memories emerge out of earthquake mess". The Press. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
  7. ^ Hogan,C. Michael. (2009/. Crown Fern: Blechnum discolor,, ed. N. Stromberg Archived 13 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]

45°23′55″S 167°5′7″E / 45.39861°S 167.08528°E / -45.39861; 167.08528