Kapuni Loop Track to Dawson Falls
Time: 1 hr loop
Distance: 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
Distance: 1.9 km loop
Walk through young forest then subalpine (goblin) forest to a series of pools, scoured from 20,000 year old lava. Take togs and a towel and enjoy a refreshing dip in the pools.
The first 900m of this track (to the pools) is baby buggy/wheelchair friendly with the remainder of the track good for children.
The track winds through ‘goblin forest’, crossing the bridge over the Kapuni Stream to reach the turnoff to the small lava formed Wilkies Pools. These pools were named after the Wilkies brothers who farmed locally. Families may want to return the same way – continuing around the loop requires some rock hopping across Kapuni Stream.
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 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 this stream. It may be impassable after heavy rain.
Getting there: The track starts above the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre.
Ridge Loop Track
Time: 1 hr 20 min loop
Distance: 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.