Dawson Falls


Dawson Falls

Dawson Falls, also known as Te Rere o Noke, is an 18-meter waterfall, the most popular one at Mt Egmont National Park due to an easy accessibility and its beauty.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 39° 19.525'  E 174° 06.435'
Parking: the end of Manaia Rd, Egmont National Park
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Walking track
Road type: Sealed Return track duration: 20min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 18m Type of the waterfall: Segmented

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 39° 19.525'  E 174° 06.435'
Parking:     the end of Manaia Rd, Egmont National Park
Access:     20min return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Dawson Falls is roughly a 1-hour’ drive away from New Plymouth or 2 hours’ from Wanganui. The road surface is always sealed.

Make your own way to Stratford. From here follow the signs ‘Dawson Falls Visitor Centre’: turn into Celia St which becomes Opunake Rd and follow it for the next 14.5 km. Then turn right into Manaia Rd and follow it for the next 9 km until you reach a huge car park. Last few km is a magnificent road through a forest. Enjoy! Toilets, well-maintained picnic area, the DOC office and café are available at the end of the road (1-3 minutes’ walk from the parking).

From the car park follow a walking 20-minutes’ return Dawson Falls track which leads to the base of the waterfall. The first part of the track follows the main road (downhill), then it jumps into the forest. Within 5 minutes you reach a tracks’ junction. Here you have a choice: either walk to the upper waterfall’s lookout (5 minutes return) or descend to the waterfall’s base (5-10 minutes return). We highly recommend walking both tracks. The track, which descends to the base, consists of a few stairs which are more or less easy but can be slippery. Return via the same track.

Alternatively, you can park your car at Manaia Rd (near the sign Dawson Falls track 5 min), in this case, you can save 10 minutes.

The official topo maps say that this waterfall is 16m high, while the DOC sign says – 18m. The truth is out there =)

Due to the stairs, the track is not suitable for wheelchairs/kids strollers.

Waterfalls nearby

Curtis Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐
Access:     2hrs 30min return walk
Driving:   31.2 km (30 mins)

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Bells Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access:     8hrs  return walk
Driving:   49.4 km (45 mins)

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