Toilet Bowl Waterfall


Toilet Bowl Waterfall

Toilet Bowl Waterfall is found near popular Waitawheta Hut, in the Kaimai-Mamaku Forest. Curious why the waterfall has such a name? If you see it once, you would agree that the waterfall can't have any other name. It looks and sounds exactly like a toilet bowl.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 37° 31' 35.202" E 175° 48' 29.628"
Parking: Franklin Road, Waihi, Waikato
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Tramping track
Road type: Sealed Return track duration: 8hrs 

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 5m Type of the waterfall: Plunge

Rating:       ⭐⭐
GPS:          S 37° 31' 35.202" E 175° 48' 29.628"
Parking:     Franklin Road, Waihi, Waikato
Access:     8hrs  return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Toilet Bowl Waterfall is roughly a 2 hours’ drive away from Auckland or 1 hour 15 minutes’ 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 and follow the road for the next 4.2km. Turn right into Franklin Rd and follow it for the next 2.2 km. There is a small car park (with DOC signs) almost at the end of Franklin Rd. There are no facilities there (no toilets).

From the parking follow Waitawheta Tramway for 3-4 hours (depend on of the level of fitness). In an hour and a half, the track crosses a large suspension bridge. Continue south along the tramline through the Waitawheta Gorge. Here, you need to cross a river 3 times, so be prepared and have appropriate boots. If the water level is low - it will be very easy to cross the river, but after rain it could be almost impossible to ford the river. The track doesn’t have any significant uphill/downhill sections.

Almost at the end of the track, you'll see a sign 'Waitawheta Hut' just before a bridge. The waterfall is seen from this bridge.

From here you have two options: either return to the car park (it takes roughly 3-4 hours) or stay at the Waitawheta Hut. The hut is quite a popular one and needs to be booked in advance.

Personally, we have used a different approach to see this waterfall. If you’re looking for a more challenging adventure, you might choose the same option as we did: we started as described above, walked the Waitawheta Tramway and stayed overnight at Waitawheta Hut. In the morning, we returned to the main track, turned right and followed it until the intersection with Ananui Falls track. We turned to Ananui Falls track and followed it until we reached the Ananui Falls. We climbed to the top of the waterfall which provides an unbelievable view of the valley. Then we continued the track until it met the Waitawheta River. Here, we crossed the river and returned to the Waitawheta Tramway which brought us back to the parking. Total tramping time: 3-4 hours day one, and 5-6 hours day two. The track requires a few river crossings and have lots of uphill/downhill sections.

Waterfalls nearby

Waitawheta Waterfall

Rating:       ⭐⭐
Access:     2days return walk
Driving:   1 m (1 min)

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Owharoa Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access:     10min return walk
Driving:   6.2 km (8 mins)

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Dickey Flat Waterfalls

Rating:       ⭐⭐
Access:     1hr 20min return walk
Driving:   11.2 km (13 mins)

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Kauri Grove Waterfall

Rating:       ⭐
Access:     3hrs 30min return walk
Driving:   32.8 km (31 mins)

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Ananui Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access:     4hrs 30min return walk
Driving:   32.8 km (33 mins)

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