Tarawera Falls


Tarawera Falls

One of the most impressive waterfalls in New Zealand, Tarawera Falls is located in Lake Tarawera Scenic Reserve and accessible through private forestry roads which require permits. Easy walk, a unique beauty of the waterfall and crystal-clear river make the falls one of New Zealand Must See Waterfalls.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 38° 9' 50.0148" E 176° 30' 58.3662"
Parking: Waterfall Rd, Rotoiti Forest
Vehicle type: 4WD vehicle recommended Track type: Walking track
Road type:12km Gravel Road (poor road surface) Return track duration: 40min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 65m Type of the waterfall: Tiered

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
GPS:          S 38° 9' 50.0148" E 176° 30' 58.3662"
Parking:     Waterfall Rd, Rotoiti Forest
Access:     40min return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Tarawera Falls is roughly a 1.5-2 hours drive away from Rotorua. If you drive from Rotorua, take SH30, then turn right to Kawerau where you must obtain a permit (address is below). From Kawerau take Fenton Mill Road and follow the signs ‘waterfall’. As soon as you’re in the forest follow Waterfall Rd which is not well-maintained forestry road with gravel surface as well as huge holes and cracks on it. We recommend a 4 WD vehicle for this road; however, a usual car can make it, if you drive carefully. The road is a private one and requires a permit.

There is a car park at the end of Waterfall Rd with toilets.

A walking 40 minutes return Tarawera Falls track leads to the waterfalls base lookout. A viewing platform is kindly provided by DOC as well as some stands with pictures and stories. The track itself isn't very difficult and doesn't require any river crossings (the track has bridges over the river), but unfortunately, it’s not suitable for wheelchairs and kids strollers.

If you have a reasonable level of fitness, it’s a good idea to continue along the tramping track Tarawera Outlet (approximately another 2 hours one way). This track climbs from Tarawera Falls lookout and follows the river. There are beautiful cascades on the river and a popular swimming spot. The track goes up to Tarawera Lake where you have options to return via the same track or continue along Tarawera Lake tramping track.

From 1 August 2018, permits to the Tarawera Falls and Tarawera Outlet will be issued from the office of Maori Investments Limited. Permits cost $10.00 per vehicle not per person.

Weekends and Public Holidays

Due to Maori Investments office closure on weekends and public holiday’s permits can be obtained in advance:

• Online via Maori Investments website; or by

• Contacting the office during office hours.

Alternatively permits required on weekends and public holidays can also be obtained by visiting the premises of the Kawerau iSite Visitor Information Centre.

Maori Investments Limited

Waterhouse Street Extension, Kawerau

0800 MIL 123 / 0800 645 123

info@maoriinvestments.co.nz www.maoriinvestments.co.nz

Office Hours: Monday – Friday 8.30am – 5.00pm

Kawerau iSite Visitor Information Centre

The Bus Terminal, Plunket Street, Kawerau

07 323 6300

Weekend Operating Hours 9.00am – 4.00pm

Waterfalls nearby

Tarawera Cascades

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
Access:     1hr 20min return walk
Driving:   1 m (1 min)

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Wairere (Te Wairoa) Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
Access:     40min return walk
Driving:   81.6 km (1 hour 28 mins)

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