IntroductionWairere Falls Track weaves its way through moss covered rocks and tree roots. Large round boulders form natural pools and cascading waterfalls.
Bridge over Wairere Falls.
Image: Tahu Taylor-Koolen ©
Wairere Falls Track is a very popular walk on the western side of the Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park near Te Aroha.
Carpark to lookout
Time: 45 mins one way
From the car park an enjoyable, undulating track crosses large moss covered rocks and tree roots. We recommend decent footwear since there's some minor climbing.
Small wooden bridges take you across the stream at several points, offering lovely views of the water and its cascades.
There is a steady incline up the steps to the base of the cliff, through a grove of nīkau, pūriri and kohekohe. After this you arrive at a lookout platform with a spectacular view of the falls.
Lookout to top platform – very steep
Time: 90 mins one way
The track becomes much harder from this point as it climbs further up the hill to the top platform. There are plenty of steps and staircases in the steeper section.
Take your time as you climb to the top of the falls and watch your footing over the rocks and tree roots. Once you reach the top of the climb, the track passes through forest before reaching the falls lookout after about 90 minutes. The viewing platform at the top of the waterfall provides fantastic views of the Waikato valley.
The falls drop 153 metres over the steep escarpment, which is part of the Okauia fault line. In spring, watch out for the apricot-coloured flowers of the taurepo plant on the rocky valley walls.
Return the same way. Some people take walking sticks as the return walk down hill and steps can be tiring on knees.
Continue on to Wairere Track
From the top of the falls you can access the Wairere Track east to the North South Track. This section is not as well maintained as the climb to Wairere Falls.
Wairere Falls Track is on Goodwin Road off Te Aroha-Okauia road, south of Te Aroha.
Be aware of landslide and rockfall risks, and steep drops
There is a risk of landslides and rockfalls throughout much of this track. There are also steep edges – keep an eye on children and stand well back.
Avoid this track during heavy rain
There is an increased risk of landslides, rockfalls and flash flooding during heavy rain. We recommend choosing a different track at these times.
Be prepared for your walk
Expect a steep and rough track with rocky, uneven ground. You need to be moderately fit to walk this track comfortably and have sturdy shoes.
Remember to pack warm clothes, a good raincoat, food and drink, a hat, sunscreen and a first aid kit. Find a full packing list for day walks here.
Know the rules for this area
No dogs or firearms unless you have a permit for hunting. Abseiling and mountain biking is prohibited.
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 nīkau, pūriri and kohekohe, and an upper section of track takes you through tree ferns and tōtara in native forest.