Owharoa Falls

 

Owharoa Falls

Actually a series of three waterfalls, Owharoa Falls are a couple of kilometers' drive away from popular Karangahake Gorge. The first and third waterfalls are well accessible, and only the top of the second one can be seen from the road. Unique surroundings and the beauty of the falls make these waterfalls part of New Zealand Must See Waterfalls list.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 37° 25' 10.041" E 175° 45' 50.7312"
Parking: Waitawheta Rd, Waikato
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Easy walking track
Road type: Sealed Return track duration: 10min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 6m Type of the waterfall: Fan

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 37° 25' 10.041" E 175° 45' 50.7312"
Parking:     Waitawheta Rd, Waikato
Access:     10min return walk


Walking and driving instructions

 

Owharoa Falls is roughly a 2-hours drive away from Auckland or 1-hour from Tauranga. The road surface is always sealed.

If you drive from Karangahake Gorge, take SH2 eastbound and follow it for the next 5km. When you see a sign ‘Owharoa Falls’ turn right into Waitawheta Rd, cross the river via a one-lane bridge. The carpark is on the right-hand side a few meters away from the bridge. There are no facilities there (no toilets).

From the carpark follow Owharoa Falls Walk to the waterfall’s base. The walk (5 minutes one way) is very easy one. It has some stairs hence not suitable for wheelchairs and strollers, but if you’re in a wheelchair, you can see almost a half of the waterfall from the carpark.

There are two more waterfalls located on the Taieri Stream. The second one is inaccessible (or at very least it is not easily accessible) - only the top of the falls can be seen from the road. The third waterfall is easily accessible and can be seen from the road as well. To access it, drive for a couple more minutes along the stream, cross the bridge, and then you'll find a carpark. The falls itself can be seen from the bridge.

Mountain biking options: the Hauraki Rail Trail (Grade 1-2; 2 days) starts in Thames and finishes in Te Aroha. A shorter option is available from Paeroa to Waihi (25 km), or a short ride from Karangahake Gorge to Owharoa Falls (a couple of hours return).


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