Maruia Falls were formed in 1929 after the Murchison earthquake triggered a landslide, which diverted the course of the Maruia River, forcing it to cut a new channel over an old river bank. Over the years, the river has eroded the gravels below the banks, giving the falls their height. Immediately after the earthquake, the falls were only about a metre high, but after a year, the drop was 5 metres. In the early 2000s it was 10 metres.
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