Tawhai Falls Walk Mt Ruapehu

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The Tawhai Falls walk is very easy 20 min walk located just off the road to the Chateau in National Park. The track is very good with light gravel. Very nice waterfall and easy to get to.

Quick Facts

        • Location: National Park
        • Distance: 0.50 kms
        • Time needed: 20 minutes
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Double back
        • Elevation: 962m
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: No
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    Established in 1887, Tongariro was the first national park in New Zealand and the fourth in the world. It is recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage, in 1990 it joined the Grand Canyon, Sagarmatha, Mt Everest National Park and Kilimanjaro. It is listed because of its unique volcanic activity. Its highly explosive nature and the high density of active vents. The crater lake is one of only two of its type in the world.

  • Track Quality

    Very Good, The track is covered with a light gravel

  • Hazards

    The wind can be a little on the cool side.

  • Transport

    Yes, buses run from Taupo to National Park,  then catch a shuttle from National Park to Whakapapa.

  • Water


  • Driving Instructions

    In National Park drive south for 200 M. On the left is the Highway 47 to Taupo and Whakapapa Village. Drive on for 8.8 Km to the turn off to Whakapapa Village. Turn right on to Highway 48, drive 2.4km, and the falls car park is on the left. 6.1 Km will take you to the Chateau.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Shops in the Whakapapa village and down the road at  National Park village.

  • Area & Track History


  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Tawhai Falls Walk Mt Ruapehu

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Tawhai Falls Walk Mt Ruapehu

As you can see there is no need to rush for a car park. The gravel track is very easy to find and great to walk on. Not a lot of protection from the wind in the first 10 minutes of the walk, so take a rain coat.

Point 2: Tawhai Falls Walk Mt Ruapehu

Five minutes in to the walk, take the 5M track on the right this leads to a viewing platform where you can look down into the falls. From here on the beech bush is very pleasant to walk through. We did not see or hear any native bird life on this short walk, very disappointing but the walk was very quiet and enjoyable.  There is a short downhill section to the river.

Point 3: Tawhai Falls Walk Mt Ruapehu

Not a spectacular stream to look at but the waterfall is very pretty. Just as you drop down on to the stream there is a small sandy beach over to the left; you might find a good place to sit down. The water in the stream starts from up at the top of the Bruce ski field. Then flows 8.2km past the caravan park at the Whakapapa village, under the Whakapapa main road, 11km over the Tawhai Falls, 12.6Km and out under the main high way and on to the town of Taumarunui 72Km, were it joins the mighty Wanganui River. NZ’s most popular river for canoeing and hunting.

All walks in National Park…

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