Wairere Falls Walk

  • Photo of Wairere Falls Walk
  • Photo of Wairere Falls Walk
  • Photo of Wairere Falls Walk

Narrow gorge, waterfall and fantastic views of the Waikato region.

Location: Top half of the North Island
Nearest Town: Matamata
Nearest City: Hamilton (60km) - 1hr 10mins
Length of Walk: 3.90kms
Time Needed: 1 hour 45 minutes
Difficulty: Hard
Wheelchair Access: No
Route: One Way
Elevation: 400m
Wet Feet: No
Toilets: Yes
Dogs: Yes
Cellphone: Yes
Date last walked: July, 2007
Track quality: 

Good.  Very little mud.  Two bridges. And 121 steep, stair case.

Shops/restaurants nearby: 

Te Aroha Visitor Centre has lots of options for where to stay.

Petrol station: 

 In Matamata

Hazards: 

 (90m) drop from the top of the falls!

Transport: 

No.

Water: 

Drink only from the river, so long as no one is having a swim

Driving Instructions: 

Matamata.  At the southern end of town.  On the main Rd to Tauranga, turn on to Tower Rd. This road will take you out to the Opal hot pools.
At Okauia Springs Rd, 3.4 Ks - turn right.
At Old Te Aroha Rd, 7.4 Ks - turn left
At Goodwin Rd,  13.7 Ks - turn right.
The car park is 0.7 Ks.   Watch out for the farmer

Camping on track: 

Yes

Track highlights: 

Narrow gorge, waterfall and fantastic views of the Waikato

Wairere Falls Walk - Start

Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Start

The car park has a security hidden camera in the trees; well that is what the sign said.  The start is easy to find, walk to the southern end of the car park.  Down to the sign post.  The lookout is 45mins.

Wairere Falls Walk - Point 2

Wairere Falls Walk - Point 2
Wairere Falls Walk - Point 2

Into the bush and turn to the right.  You will walk up through very interesting bush and rocky ground, don’t even think of calling in to the toilet long drop.  Only fit for blow flies.  You should have gone before you left town!

Wairere Falls Walk - Point 3

Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 3
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 3

After 5 mins you will cross a bridge.  Then a little bush and farm walking.  Pass the Old Maori track on your right, which is very steep and very very slippery after a little rain and over grown in places.

Wairere Falls Walk - Point 4

Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 4
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 4
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 4

After another 5 min walking you will cross the second bridge and the third etc.  The tack will lead you under and around rocky out crops covered in moss and dark green ferns. There is this one corner, when you walk around it, you get this aerie feeling there is a dinosaur waiting to say Hi welcome to my neighbourhood. Please stay for dinner!

Wairere Falls Walk - Point 5

Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 5
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 5
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 5

The creek follows the track most of the way to the 121 steps,  so take some  time,  set up the tripod and try a couple of time exposures of the water falls.  Should I tell you about the 121 steps, up the new wooden stair case, its well built, OK, I won’t.  The last 10 Min to the lookout might make you sweat a little.

Wairere Falls Walk - Point 6

Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 6
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 6
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 6

The turn off to the lookout to the left, it’s not a big sign, so look were you are going.  Take a break at the lookout, take a photo or two, sit down on the bench seats and enjoy the view of the falls.  Back to the main track, the first 20 min is an uphill climb, not too hard. You will pass the turn off to the old Maori track after 5 min.  This track is over grown and is a very slippery clay base all the way to the bottom.

Wairere Falls Walk - Point 7 (Summit)

Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 7 (Summit)
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 7 (Summit)
Photo of Wairere Falls Walk - Point 7 (Summit)

At the top, turn left at the creek, a 2 min walk to the falls. There is a small platform and seats so you can enjoy the view. A strong and cold wind can power over the top of the falls, so get the warm jacket out.  Back at the creek the track carries on to the right, it is a good walk along the creek.  You will see a vast change in the bush.  But don’t go too far, a taxi back from Tauranga might set you back a few dollars!