Rotorua – Waterfalls North Island in the Central Region

Wairere Te-Wairoa Falls Cascades

Waterfalls around Rotorua

We take you to a visit of the most important and must-see waterfalls around Rotorua and the central region. Find out their rating, height and how to access…

Tarawera Falls

Rating: *****
Height: 65 m
Access: Apply for a permit (about $5-6 at Kawerau Information Centre) to access the private forestry road (gravel) that leads to the car park at Waterfall Road. From there it’s an easy 40min return walk.

Impressive, must see waterfalls with clear water and historic Maori story, located in the Rotoiti Forest.

Waiatiu Falls

Rating: ****
Access: Remote location in Whirinaki Forest Park, drive to and stop at River Road car park. It’s an easy 1.5hrs return walk (1,6km), which can be slippery after rain.

This track leads you into a beautiful native forest with lots of bird life. Remote enough to be peaceful and uncrowded.

Mangamate Falls

Rating: ***
Height: 7 m
Access: The falls can be seen from the car park, drive about 300m gravel road from the Minginui Road intersection.

The waterfall is located at the Murupara Motor Camp, a great spot for a picnic near Whirinaki Forest Park.

Wairere (Te-Wairoa) Falls

Rating: ****
Height: 30 m
Access: The falls are within the Buried Village, where an entry fee (currently $34 for an adult) has to be paid. Open daily (closed Xmas Day) between 9am and 4.30pm. Located past the Blue and Green Lake on Tarawera Road, 25 minutes by car from Rotorua.

This historic place, once called Te Wairoa, offers a variety. Besides exploring the falls, you can read stories about the eruption of Mt Tarawera and visit sites from the past.

Kerosene Creek

Rating: ****
Height: 2 m
Access: 10 min easy return walk from car park at the end of Old Walotapu Road. Don’t leave any valuables in the car.

This hot water stream attracts a high number of visitors during the summer season. It can be quite hot, be careful with your soak. Therefore, its even better to visit during winter and early spring.

Okere Falls Track, visit three cataract-style waterfalls

Experience an active adventure – rafting down the waterfalls on the Kaituna River

Access: Drive 30 min north of Rotorua on SH 30. Continue on SH 33. Follow Okere Falls Road and Trout Pool Road to find two car parks. Allow for a total of 30 min to the end to see Kaituna and Tutea Falls, return same way or on Trout Pool Road. If you feel adventurous, you can book an exciting rafting trip!

Okere Falls

Rating: ****
Height: 5 m
Access: Park your car at the first car park. Okere Falls track takes you in 5 min to the falls.

Discover interesting history along the Okere Falls Track.

Kaituna Falls

Rating: ***
Height: 5 m
Access: Park at the last car park at the end of Trout Pool Road. The well-formed Okere Falls track takes you in 5 min to the falls. Continue on track for 10 min to Tutea Falls.

You might be lucky and see some rafters and kayaker on the Kaituna River during your bush walk.

Tutea Falls

Rating: *****
Height: 7 m
Access: Park at Okere Falls Road or Trout Pool Road car park. Walk 15 min (half way) on the well-formed Okere Falls track.

Adventure Alert!! Take photos of rafters from the lookout or plunge yourself down a waterfall. This is the world’s highest, commercially operated Rafting Trip!

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Rotorua Waterfall
Rotorua Waterfall

Tongariro National Park – Waterfalls North Island in the Central Region

Tawhai Falls

Waterfalls around Tongariro National Park

We take you to a visit of the most important waterfalls around the central region. View the photos and find out their rating, height and how to access…

On the western side of the Tongariro National Park, near Whakapapa Village, you can discover: Taranaki Falls, Tawhai Falls, Silica Rapids, Soda Springs and Mahuia Rapids. On the southern end of Tongariro National Park, near Ohakune, you can explore: Mangawhero Falls and Ohakune Mountain Falls.


Taranaki Falls

Taranaki Falls

Rating: *****
Height: 20 m
Access: 2hrs loop walk through beech forest and mountain scenery from Whakapapa Village

Impressive waterfall track which offers views of volcanic mountain scenery on a clear day.

Waterfalls around Tongariro National Park: Tawhai Falls

Tawhai Falls

Rating: ****
Height: 13 m
Access: 20min easy return walk from carpark at SH48 towards Whakapapa Village

Easy to get waterfall, where you might see the rare Blue Ducks


Silica Rapids

Silica Rapids

Rating: ***
Access: 1,5hrs return walk from carpark at SH48 on Bruce Road

Scenic track with interesting vegetation and volcanic mountain views on a clear day.


Soda Springs

Soda Springs

Rating: ****
Height: 15 m
Access: Allow 2hrs 30min for return track from the carpark at the end of Mangatepopo Road (gravel road for 6km)

Section of the famous Tongariro Crossing, can be busy with walkers on a nice summer day.


Mahuia Rapids with Mt Ruapehu

Mahuia Rapids

Rating: ***
Access: Close to the junction of SH47 and SH48, stop by the bridge and look towards the mountains.

The rapids can be framed with Mt Ruapehu or Mt Ngauruhoe in the background.


Mangawhero Falls

Mangawhero Falls

Rating: ****
Height: 28 m
Access: 20 min easy return walk to lookout platform, car park near KM16 on Ohakune Mountain Road.

Beautiful waterfall with easy access and views of Mt Ruapehu on clear days.


Ohakune Mountain Falls

Ohakune Mountain Falls

Rating: ***
Height: 10 m
Access: To view the waterfall from roadside car park, stop near KM13 on Ohakune Mountain Rd.

No official track, but you can follow the river bed with appropriate gear and care.

Would you like to visit more waterfalls in this region? You can find the famous Huka Falls and more near Lake Taupo.

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Tongariro National Park Waterfall
Tongariro National Park Waterfall

Taupo – Waterfalls North Island in the Central Region


Waterfalls around Lake Taupo

We take you to a visit of the most important waterfalls around the central region. Find out their rating, height and how to access…

Huka Falls

Huka Falls

Rating: *****
Height: 11 m
Access: 10min easy return walk along the fall from Huka Falls Road car park

A must see: where more than 220 000 litres of water per second funnel through a narrow gorge, a powerful experience!


Pools at Aratiatia Rapids

Aratiatia Rapids

Rating: ****
Height: 5m
Access: 20-30min easy return walk to viewpoints from Rapids Road car park at the dam

Special times when the floodgate opens: 10am, 12pm and 2pm, in summer additionally at 4pm. Lasts for about 15min, best to arrive 10min prior to get to the viewpoint in time! This was a movie location, where the Hobbits escaped with barrels down the river.


Waipunga Falls

Waipunga Falls

Rating: ****
Height: 40 m
Access: Viewing point from the car park at lookout on SH5

Stop at the towards the left pointing sign-posted lookout on the State Highway between Taupo and Napier to get to the falls

Otupoto Falls (Waihora) and Tieke Falls (Waihaha)

Experience an active adventure to remote waterfalls on Lake Taupo

Access: Organise transfer from Kinloch to SH32 turn off for a bike ride (grade 3) for up to 3,5 hours on Waihaha (13km) and Waihora (17km) tracks or walk in total 7,5 hours one way. About 7 km into the track, you will find the viewpoint for Tieke Falls (37m high). From the end of the track, you reached the Otupoto Waterfall, located at the lake shore. To get to Kinloch from here, pre-book a boat transfer.

Waihaha

Tieke Falls

Viewpoint about half way (around KM 7) on Waihaha track. Alternatively get to the beach next to the waterfall by jet-ski or helicopter.

Waihora

Otupoto Falls

This waterfall is located at the end of the track right on the lake shore.

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Taupo Waterfall
Taupo Waterfall