Pararaha Stream Waterfalls


Pararaha Stream Waterfalls

Full of fun and challenges route leads to Pararaha Stream Waterfalls, which are found at Waitakere Regional Park. Requiring multiple river crossings (definitely wet-shoes track) and can be difficult to walk, but really worth it!

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 37° 0' 33.2454" E 174° 29' 57.573"
Parking: Lone Kauri Rd, Karekare
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Tramping track
Road type: Sealed Return track duration: 8hrs 

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 10m Type of the waterfall: Cascade

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 37° 0' 33.2454" E 174° 29' 57.573"
Parking:     Lone Kauri Rd, Karekare
Access:     8hrs  return walk

Walking and driving instructions


From 1 May 2018, the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park will be closed to prevent the spread of, and to protect against kauri dieback disease. Some tracks in the Hunua Ranges Regional Parks will also be closed.

Pararaha Stream Waterfalls are roughly a 50 minutes' drive away from Auckland City. The road surface is always sealed.

If you drive from Auckland, follow the road which leads to Piha. A few minutes before arriving at Piha Village, as soon as you see a sign ‘Karekare’, turn left and follow the main road. This road becomes Lone Kauri Rd, follow it for 5.8km until you reach a car park (on you right). There are no facilities there.

We know at least 3 different options to reach the waterfalls from this car park; below we will describe the easiest option which has most of the waterfalls en route. Hence, you start from the car park and follow Odlin Timber Track which is a tramping track. In 15-20 minutes the track crosses the Pararaha Stream where the official Pararaha Route starts. You can turn right into this route, but we would recommend to continue on to the Odlin Timber Track for 20-25 more minutes until you reach the Cowan Stream. The unsigned Cowan Stream Track starts here, just before the stream crossing turn right and follow the stream (downstream). There is no official track here, and it’s definitely a wet-shoes adventure with multiple stream crossings and waterfalls en route. Make sure you have enough time to stop and enjoy each waterfall. In 2-2.5hours you reach the Pararaha Stream, turn left and follow the stream (downstream).

In 20-30 minutes you reach the biggest waterfall, it’s marked on the Topo Maps, and at the same time it’s the hardest part of the track. Be extremely careful here! You’ll need to descend safely to the bottom of this waterfall. From here, the track is straightforward, just follow the stream. There will be one more, smaller waterfall en route with a great swimming pool, which is a cool place in summer time. It takes 2-2.5hrs from the end of Cowan Stream to reach the campsite at the end of Pararaha Route. From our memory, there is shelter and a long-drop toilet here.

From here, turn right into Pararaha Valley Track, cross the Pararaha Stream (knee-deep crossing) and follow the track until you reach the junction with Buck Taylor Track, which is mainly an uphill climbing section of your journey. In 1-1.5hrs you’ll be back to the car park.

Alternatively, you can walk this track in an anti-clockwise direction. It’s a bit harder to walk option and takes a bit more time. Also, you can consider staying overnight at Pararaha Valley Campground.

Note: this route is for experienced trampers only!

Many thanks to Konstantin Pastbin and Co for a few great photos!

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