Along Wilkies Pools Loop Track
PHOTO: Jeff and Neda Fields | Creative Commons 

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Meandering tracks through subalpine forest which lead to a series of pools and cascades scoured out of the lava.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track


Kapuni Loop Track to Dawson Falls

Time: 1 hr loop
1.4 km

Walk through mountain rainforest to the picturesque Dawson Falls (18 m).

From Manaia Road, the track descends along the Kapuni Stream through 'goblin forest' passing the short steep track to the base of Dawson Falls/Te Rere o Noke (18 m). Continue past the falls lookout point, cross Manaia Road and head uphill through forest to the visitor centre car park.

Getting there: The track begins 75 m down Manaia Road from the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre.

Wilkies Pools Loop Track

Time: 20 min to the pools, 1 hr 20 min loop
1.9 km loop

Walk through young forest then subalpine (goblin) forest to a series of pools, scoured from 20,000 year old lava.

The first 800 m of this track (to the pools) is baby buggy/wheelchair assisted friendly, a bridge across the Kapuni Stream in front of the Wilkies Pools is also accessible and offers great views - you will need to return back the same way.

The track winds through ‘goblin forest’, crossing the bridge over the Kapuni Stream to reach the  small lava formed Wilkies Pools. These pools were named after the Wilkies brothers who farmed locally. Return to the signpost to continue around the loop, past small waterfalls, bubbling springs and the intake weir for the power station. Recross the Kapuni Stream (there is no bridge at this point) and head back to the visitor centre.

Take care when crossing the Kāpuni Stream as the river bank may be eroded, making access difficult. There is no bridge across the lower stream crossing. It may be impassable after heavy rain.

Getting there: The track starts above the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre.

The Ridge Loop Track

Time: 1 hr 20 min loop
1.9 km

This track meanders uphill through subalpine forest, crossing the Kāpuni Stream before looping around and returning to the visitor centre.

Follow the Wilkies Pools Loop Track then turn right at the first junction to cross Kapuni Stream. Turn right again at the next junction and walk up a short steep track to join the Ridge Track. Head down the ridge and over a bridge to reach Manaia Road just below the visitor centre.

Getting there: Start on the Wilkies Pool Loop Track above the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre.

Getting there

In Stratford, turn off SH23 into Celia Street, which becomes Opunake Road. Follow this for 14 km, then turn right into Manaia Road and travel 9 km up the mountain to Dawson Falls visitor centre.

Know before you go

Dawson Falls Visitor Centre is open reduced hours: Thursday – Sunday 9am – 4pm; 7 days a week during school holidays, 9am – 4pm.


Dawson Falls Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 27 443 0248
Address:   Manaia Rd
Full office details
Egmont National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 6 756 0990
Address:   2879 Egmont Rd
Full office details
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