Wairere Falls Track

Track category

Tramping track


3 - 4 hr return


5 km


Wairere Falls from the lower lookout.
On a windy day great sheets of water can be seen flying through the air

The falls can be seen from the Te Aroha-Okauia Road and are signposted from the Goodwin Road turnoff.  In spring, watch out for the apricot coloured flowers of the taurepo or sandpaper plant on the rocky valley walls.

From the carpark a well formed track weaves its way through moss covered rocks and tree roots. It meets up with the river and bridges assist with river crossings.There is a steady climb up the base of the cliff where sets of steps lead to the top of the gorge.  The track passes through a grove of nikau, puriri and kohekohe before leading to a lookout platform with a spectacular view looking from the base of the falls. The falls drop 153 m over the steep escarpment, which is part of the Okauia fault line.

The track climbs further with plenty of steps and staircases in the steep section.  At the top of the hill the track winds through a rich mosaic of forest species with tawa.  The track then branches to the falls lookout. From this point the return tramp to the lookout will take you 2 hours.  There is a magnificent view looking back over the valley and the Waikato Plains. 

Over the summer there are plenty of pools to paddle in and the track can be explored further upriver.

Return along the same track.

Getting there

Wairere Falls Track is on Goodwin Road off Te Aroha-Okauia road, south of Te Aroha.

About the area

Wairere Falls steps.
Steps going up alongside the Wairere Falls Track

The Wairere Falls track takes walkers through a beautiful, diverse range of natural scenery.  Besides the spectacular 153 m high falls there are beautiful river falls and cascades, a fine grove of nikau, puriri and kohekohe, and an upper section of track takes you through tree ferns and totara in native forest. The falls lookout and summit offer magnificent views of the valley and the Waikato Plains. In summer there are plenty of pools to wade and paddle in, and the track can be explored further up the river.

Plan and prepare

You need to be well prepared when tramping on conservation land, especially on the longer day walks.  Ensure you have strong, comfortable boots, warm clothing, a good raincoat, first aid kit, food and drink, a hat and sunscreen.  It is also advisable that you leave your tramping intentions with a responsible person, in case you get lost.

Please consult a topographic map.

Mountain biking is not permitted.

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