Kotukutuku Waterfall


Kotukutuku Waterfall

Accessible either by foot, or by a bike, or by a boat, exquisite Kotukutuku Waterfalls is a hidden gem, offering an excellent place to relax after a challenging cycling or walking.

Driving and walking conditions

GPS of the view point: S 38° 40.731' E 175° 46.487'
Parking: the end of Waihaha Road, Waihaha
Vehicle type: All vehicle types Track type: Tramping track
Road type:4.5km of Gravel Road Return track duration: 8hrs 

Waterfall parameters

Waterfall height: 25m Type of the waterfall: Cascade

Rating:       ⭐⭐
GPS:          S 38° 40.731' E 175° 46.487'
Parking:     the end of Waihaha Road, Waihaha
Access:     8hrs  return walk

Walking and driving instructions


Kotukutuku Waterfall is roughly a 40-minutes’ drive away from Taupo, or just 30-minutes' from Kinloch. The road surface is sealed except for the last 4.5km which are a gravel road.

From Taupo follow Thermal Explorer Highway, then turn left into Poihipi Rd and stay on it for the next 22km. Turn left into Marotiri Rd and follow it until you reach an intersection with SH-32. Turn left and stay on SH-32 for the next 20.5km. Then turn left into Waihaha Rd which is a farm road and follow it for the next 4.5km until you reach a large car park with detailed maps.

You have two options: either walk or ride your mountain bike. Walking is about 7-8 hrs return. Below we describe a mountain biking option.

From the car park take the Waihora Trail towards the lake. The trail is 17km long and about 2-2.5hrs ride. There are lots of stunning views of the lake from the trail. The waterfall is reached at the end of the ride, 5 minutes before arrival to the 'landing'. The waterfall is very tall and impressive. Better to visit after rain. There are 2 platforms available there to better observe the falls. There is a beautiful cascade downstream the falls.

There is a shelter at the end of the trail, as well as a long-drop toilet. It's a great place to swim in a warm day.

Return via the same track (total cycling time 4 hrs); or organize a boat from the end of the trail (total cycling time 2 hrs). 

If you are seeking for a more challenging option, you can start this trail from Waihaha Bridge car park. Total cycling time (one-way) 3.5-4 hrs. You will see one more waterfall - Tieke Falls. 

An easy option which requires only 5 minutes of walking: Cruise with Fish Her Charters. 5 minutes walk from the 'landing'.

Waterfalls nearby

Tieke Falls

Rating:       ⭐⭐⭐
Access:     4hrs  return walk
Driving:   7.1 km (8 mins)

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