Whirinaki Forest Iconic Waterfall


Whirinaki Forest Iconic Waterfall

Unofficially named, Whirinaki Forest Iconic Waterfall is a hidden gem, offering peace and tranquility, and located in Whirinaki Forest.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 38° 41.087' E 176° 42.039'
Parking: River Road, Whirinaki Forest Park
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Easy walking track
Road type:5km of Gravel Road Return track duration: 30min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 5m Type of the waterfall: Cascade

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 38° 41.087' E 176° 42.039'
Parking:     River Road, Whirinaki Forest Park
Access:     30min return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Whirinaki Forest Iconic Waterfall is roughly a 1.5-hrs' drive away from Rotorua. The road surface is gravel for the last 5 km.

From Rotorua head south-east on the SH-5 until an intersection with SH-38, then turn left onto SH-38 and stay on it for the next 55.7km. Turn right onto Minginui Rd, which is a sealed road. Follow this road for a few kilometers until you reach a signposted intersection ("Whirinaki Forest"), turn right onto River road (gravel road) and follow it until you reach a DOC car park. There are track signs and a long-drop toilet there.

There are two tracks start there which lead to two different waterfalls. First track, to your left (through the main entrance), leads to Whirinaki Falls, while the second one, to your right, leads to Waiatiu Falls. Take the first one and walk alongside the Whirinaki River, over Te Whaiti Nui A Toi to Whirinaki Falls. When you reach the bridge, do NOT cross the river and follow the track on the left bank of the river. From the bridge it takes just 5-7 minutes minutes to reach the waterfall. It is found near a small foot-bridge and has no signs.

From here either return via the same route (total walking time is 30 minutes), or continue to walk the main track as a loop and visit one more waterfall - Whirinaki Falls (total walking time is 3hrs).

Waterfalls nearby

Waiatiu Falls

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

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Whirinaki Falls

Rating:       ⭐
Access:     3hrs  return walk
Driving:   1 m (1 min)

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Mangamate Waterfall

Rating:       ⭐⭐
Access:     5min return walk
Driving:   2.7 km (4 mins)

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Totarapapa Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐
Access:     1min return walk
Driving:   28.7 km (42 mins)

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