Tarawera River Walk

Walking Trail
-
Kawerau

Walking:
1 hr

About the trail
0.7 km one way, return via same track.
The track runs between the Waterfall road carpark to the spectacular falls, where water surges out of fissures in a high cliff face.


Dog friendly: No

Things to know

No Dogs allowed. Facilities: A toilet is located at the carpark. There is a viewing area with a seat at the falls.

Follow the track that leaves the carpark heading upstream along the Tarawera River. You will reach a bridge crossing over Tarawera River and the track continues upstream until you arrive at the falls viewing area where you can fully appreciate their splendor. Signs at the viewpoint explain the cultural and natural significance of the area. 

Back-track to return to the carpark or continue along the tramping track to Tarawera Outlet (approximately another 2 hours one way).

Note: There is structural damage on the Tarawera Falls Track. The track has been re-routed to allow access to and from the falls however, caution is required. 

Facilities: A toilet is located at the carpark. There is a viewing area with a seat at the falls.

Part of Virtually on Track  - Discover, Explore, Connect

Getting there

Access to Tarawera Outlet is from Kawerau township (off SH 30 between Rotorua and Whakatane) via private forestry roads that require permits. The forest gate is closed during the hours of darkness. The forest road may be closed in summer when fire risk is high.

Access permits

Permits to the Tarawera Falls and Tarawera Outlet cost $10 per vehicle.

Where to get a permit: 

Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm

Maori Investments Limited
Address: Waterhouse Street Extension, Kawerau
Email: [email protected]
Website: Māori Investments Limited

Weekends and public holidays

Order online in advance: Māori Investments Limited

Or from:

Kawerau i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Plunket Street, Kawerau 3127
Phone: +64 7 323 6300
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours for Kawerau i-SITE Visitor Information Centre 

Nature and conservation

The spectacular Tarawera Falls — where water surges out of fissures in a large rock cliff-face surrounded by native bush. The cliff is the end of an ancient rhyolitic lava flow that is believed to have poured from an erupting Mt Tarawera about 11,000 years ago. An abrupt stop to the flow produced these high cliffs.

The vegetation here has developed since the 1886 Tarawera eruption. Both pohutukawa and rata are found. An unusual feature is the range of hybrids between these two closely related species that occurs in the area. Evidence of this interbreeding can be seen in the variety of different leaf shapes found on the forest floor here.

Source: Department of Conservation (Banner and Hero images: 'Clear water from Lake Tarawera' by Andrew and Annemarie / Creative Commons)