Wilkies Pools

Image: Bev Bacon | DOC


Walk to a picturesque, 18 m waterfall or through goblin forest to lava-formed pools that are good for a dip - these tracks are suitable for children and have plenty to keep them interested.

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. 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
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
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   egmontvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Manaia Rd
Egmont National Park
Postal Address:   PO Box 462
New Plymouth 4340
Egmont National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 6 756 0990
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   egmontvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   2879 Egmont Rd
Egmont National Park
Postal Address:   PO Box 462
New Plymouth 4340
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