Tarawera Falls
PHOTO: Tom Bradnock | Creative Commons


The track runs between the Waterfall road carpark to the spectacular falls, where water surges out of fissures in a high cliff face.

Track overview

700 m return via same track

Walking and tramping

20 min one way Easiest: Short walk

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


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 splendour. 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 which require permits. A map and directions are avaliable at the Kawerau Information Centre. 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 cost $5 and must be collected on the day of entering the forest roads from:

Kawerau i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Plunket Street
Kawerau 3127
+64 7 323 6300
Email: infocentre@kaweraudc.govt.nz
Wesite: www.kaweraunz.com

Opening hours: 9am to 4pm daily.

2017/18 summer opening hours: 8.30am to 6.30pm daily (from Monday 18 December 2017 to Sunday 14 January 2018)

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.

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.


Tourism Rotorua i-SITE Information Centre
Phone:   +64 7 351 7324
Address:   1167 Fenton St
Email:   rotoruavisitor@doc.govt
Full office details
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