Whirinaki Falls


Whirinaki Falls

Whirinaki Falls is set in the Whirinaki Forest near the bridge over the Whirinaki Forest.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 38° 42' 31.5828" E 176° 41' 19.212"
Parking: River Road, Whirinaki Forest Park
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Walking track
Road type:5km of Gravel Road Return track duration: 3hrs 

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 8m Type of the waterfall: Cataract

Rating:       ⭐
GPS:          S 38° 42' 31.5828" E 176° 41' 19.212"
Parking:     River Road, Whirinaki Forest Park
Access:     3hrs  return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Whirinaki Falls 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. We do recommend to walk the track anti-clockwise, so don't cross the river when you reach the first bridge, and continue to walk alongside the river. In 5-7 min you'll see Whirinaki Forest Iconic Waterfall (to your right), then the track climbs through the native forest and reaches the second bridge over the river. The top of the waterfall is seen from the bridge. Highly unfortunately, the whole waterfall is not seen from the track or bridge. There are some un-official side-tracks but they don't look safe.

From here cross the river and return via the track on the other side of the river (total walking time is 3hrs).

Waterfalls nearby

Waiatiu Falls

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

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Whirinaki Forest Iconic Waterfall

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
Access:     30min 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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