Soda Springs Falls


Soda Springs Falls

The most significant and visited waterfall along the popular Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track, Soda Springs are located in Tongariro National Park. The waterfall is seen from the main track, but a better view requires an additional 10-minutes’ walk.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 39° 8' 17.8146"  E 175° 37' 18.087"
Parking: Mangatepopo Rd, Tongariro National Park
Vehicle type: 4WD vehicle recommended Track type: Tramping track
Road type:6km Gravel Road Return track duration: 2hrs 30min

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 15m Type of the waterfall: Segmented

Rating:       ⭐⭐
GPS:          S 39° 8' 17.8146"  E 175° 37' 18.087"
Parking:     Mangatepopo Rd, Tongariro National Park
Access:     2hrs 30min return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Soda Springs are roughly 30 minutes’ drive away from either National Park or Whakapapa Village; or 1.5 hours’ from Taupo. Mangatepopo Rd is not a well-maintained road with gravel surface as well as huge holes and cracks on it. We recommend a 4-WD vehicle for this trip.

From National Park travel east on the SH-47 for 13.5km until you see a sign ‘Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track’. Turn right into Mangatepopo Rd, which is a gravel road, and follow it for the next 6km until you reach a car park.

If you organize transport to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing Track, you don't need to worry about the road. A comfortable bus will drop you at the beginning of the track.

There is a huge car park at the end of Mangatepopo Rd, which has toilets. Due to super-popularity of the track, the parking is always busy. If you use your own car, then arrive very early or very late. During the rush hours (most likely) you won’t find a space to park your car. From the parking follow the Tongariro Alpine Crossing for 1-1.5hrs (depends on the level of fitness) until beginning of the real climb (there is a DOC sign saying something line ‘Are you really sure you wanna do this track?’ =) ).

From here you will see the Soda Springs on your left. A closer approach is possible – just follow a 10-minutes’ track to reach the waterfall's base. In good weather, it’s a nice spot for a breakfast/lunch. The waterfall is impressive after rain, but in a dry summer, there could be little or no water at all.

This part of the track, from the parking to the springs, is relatively easy. It’s a gentle climb (doesn’t feel like a real climb) which has a few short stairs and follows the Mangatepopo stream with a couple of tiny waterfalls on it. They are quite nice after rain.

Return via the same track; or if you organized a transport – continue the track and enjoy the view of the volcanoes, craters and Ketetahi Falls (almost at the end of the track).

One more, less popular option, is to walk the Tongariro Northern Circuit Great Walk (3-4 days). Usually, you start this track from Whakapapa Village and walk it clockwise (other drop-off locations and anti-clockwise direction are possible as well). If you choose this option, you also would see Taranaki Falls and Oturere Waterfall (near Oturere Hut). The huts/campsites need to be booked in advance.

Waterfalls nearby

Ketetahi Falls

Rating:       ⭐
Access:     25min return walk
Driving:   25.9 km (25 mins)

Read more ...

Taranaki Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Access:     2hrs  return walk
Driving:   16.5 km (18 mins)

Read more ...


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