William Wright Falls


William Wright Falls

William Wright Falls is a stunning waterfall which is reached via a challenging 3.5 hours’ return walk which start from popular Waihi Beach.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 37° 22.834' E 175° 55.487'
Parking: The Esplanade, Waihi Beach
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Tramping track
Road type: Sealed Return track duration: 3hrs 40min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 28m Type of the waterfall: Multi-step

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 37° 22.834' E 175° 55.487'
Parking:     The Esplanade, Waihi Beach
Access:     3hrs 40min return walk

Walking and driving instructions


William Wright Falls is roughly a 1 hour' drive away from Tauranga or 1.5-hours from Hamilton or 2-hours from Auckland. The road surface is always sealed.

From Tauranga head north along the SH2. After 55km of driving slide right towards Waihi Beach. In Waihi Beach follow Beach Road until you get to its end at Pohutukawa Park. There are heaps of parking there, as well as a playground, toilets, picnic tables and tracks’ signs.

From the parking follow a well-signposted Orokawa Bay to Homunga Bay track. The trail to Orokawa Bay is roughly a 1 hour more or less easy walk with some uphill and downhill section. There is a nice and quiet beach there with not as many people as at Waihi Beach. There is toilet nearby, and lots of spots for picnic.

Walk to the far end of the beach along the main track. The side track which leads to the waterfall is found 5 minutes past the beach. The waterfall track was destroyed by landslide in 2013, hence from an easy walk it was upgraded to an advanced track. Now the sign says '40 minutes one way. Suitable for fit and experienced trampers.' Right from the beginning you start walking through very long grass, then the route comes back to the stream. From here it's pretty much a mixture of following the stream and walking through the very long grass. The reminders of the track are very much overgrown, and in some places are very difficult to walk. You need to prepare yourself for a good 30 minutes of climbing and jumping, and if it's not a dry summer then your feet will be wet for sure.

After roughly 30 minutes of the adventure keep your eye on a side stream on your left. It's easy to miss. The orange triangles point to the right direction. From here, it's just 5 minutes of walk. This part is kind of typical track with orange triangles and visible path. The track brings you to the bottom of the falls.

Return via the same route. Total walking time is about 3.5 hours.

Don’t be disappointed! William Wright Falls is a type of waterfalls which may have little or no water at all during dry summer. Hence, if the summer is dry with no rain for a few weeks, please don’t expect to see a powerful waterfall. 


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