Tawarau Falls


Tawarau Falls

Tawarau Falls is a stunning waterfall located in a remote part of Tawarau Forest. Quite difficult access required 4WD vehicle and at least 2 hours tramping is fully paid off by quiet contemplation of the waterfall. It is off the beaten track adventure!

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 38°18.9271'  E 174°56.6483'
Parking: AppleTree Rd, Pomarangai
Vehicle type: 4WD vehicle recommended Track type: Tramping track
Road type:5.5km of Gravel Road (poor road surface) Return track duration: 2hrs 

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 25m Type of the waterfall: Cascade



Walking and driving instructions


Tawarau Falls is roughly a 3-3.5 hours’ drive away from Auckland or 45min from Waitomo. Appletree Rd is a typical forestry road with gravel surface as well as huge holes and cracks on it. There is an official sign at the road entrance saying that it's not a public road, the road is maintained by DOC and DOC takes no liability for the vehicles entering to this road. This road is unsuitable for low wheel-base vehicles and we highly recommend a 4-WD vehicle for this trip.

From Waitomo travel west on Te Anga Rd for 17 km, then turn left into Appletree Rd (a forestry road) and follow it for the next 2.2km. On the intersection turn right and follow the road as long as you can (roughly 3.3 km), until you see a small car park (on your right) with a sign 'Double Falls track 2 hours' (please refer to 'Parking' section on the top of the page to find the exact location of the parking - S 38°18.494' E 174°56.717' ). There are no any facilities along the road.

If you haven’t got an appropriate vehicle, you can leave your car near the intersection of Te Anga and Appletree roads, and walk the whole way to the carpark. Please note, one-way trip from Te Anga Rd to the parking takes roughly 1-1.5 hour, which adds 2-3 hours to your total tramping time.

There are two options to reach the falls. The easiest and fastest one: from the parking follow Double Falls track until you reach the junction with the Tawarau Falls track. Here, you need to turn left and follow the Tawarau Falls track. As soon as you hear the waterfall, you should see a sign ‘Tawarau Falls’. Turn right into a 5-minutes side track. The descend to the waterfall is quite tricky, especially after a rain when it's slippery. There is a chain which helps you to descent and climb back, and prevent you from falling down. Be very careful here! Honestly, not recommended for kids! Return via the same track. Total walking time is about 2 hours.

You can walk the whole loop (more info in the second option below), or return to the intersection with the Double Falls track and continue the walk to the Upper and Lower Double Falls (total walking time is about 5.5 hours).

The second, and the most recommended option, is to walk the whole loop. In this case it's better to leave your car at the official Tawarau Falls car park: from Te Anga Rd turn left into Appletree Rd (a forestry road) and follow it for the next 2.2km. On the intersection turn right and follow the road for the next 2km until you see a first sign ‘Tawarau Falls track’. Turn left and follow the road for the next 200m until you reach a parking with no facilities. From the parking follow Tawarau Falls track, which descends to the Tawarau River and follows it for a first hour and a half. This part track requires to ford the river 3 times so please be prepare. The river can be very deep after a rain. When you walk along the river you'll see 3 smaller waterfalls, at least one of them is hidden in a gorge but you still can hear and see it. Then track leaves the river and climbs to the top of the hill. Here, don't miss the left turn to the falls (5 minutes side track). Allow roughly 4 hours to complete the whole loop.

The waterfalls are very remote and quiet. We've been to that falls two times but never seen any people there.


Waterfalls nearby (driving)


Attractions nearby


We highly recommend visiting Waitomo caves with the world famous glow worms.

Along the way to the falls don't forget to see:

All true rafting lovers will enjoy Black Water rafting in Waitomo.


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