Okere Falls Track

Okere Falls Track

Lake Rotoiti

95%

14 Rankers Reviews

9 Face-to-Face

2 Tikitere

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!

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Information

2.4 km return | 1 hour return

The area was the traditional homeland of Ngati Pikiao. The Okere River was also known as the Kaituna River, which served as an abundant food source, especially in the eel holes at the base of the falls. The Okere Falls are now the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. Good fun listening to the raptures of delight.

Access

Turn into Trout Pool Road in the settlement of Okere Falls, 8.2km north of the S.H.30 and S.H.33junction. The large parking area with toilets is a further 500 metres on the right.

Track

The track is wide metalled and even.

From the carpark there is a 1-minute-return walk down steps to a lookout, level with Okere Falls. These steps are often wet and slippery.

At the turbine by the toilets, there is 1-minute-return detour to a lookout above Okere Falls.

The main track continues for 10 minutes to a side track on the right down Hinemoa’s Steps to Tutea Caves (5-minutes-return) and a lookout above a further set of falls.

It’s a further 15 minutes to the Trout Pool and another parking area, 1.3km north of the first carpark. A network of informal tracks weave around the small series of rapids and falls in the vicinity of the placid Trout Pool.

Polynesian History

Tutea’s Caves are named after a local chief. During times of war, women and children hid in the secluded caverns, sheltered by steep forested hills and the river.

European History

The turbine at the entrance to the track was salvaged from Okere Falls Power Station, which was constructed in 1901 to fuel the burgeoning demands of an expanding Rotorua. From 1902, with the connection of the Palace and Grand Hotels, demand outstripped the capabilities of the single generator and a second 50kW Waverley Horizontal turbine was installed. By 1907 there was a need to double the output so a wing dam was constructed to increase the head of water. Not until 1913 was a 24-hour service introduced. The station closed in 1939.

The name ‘Hinemoa’s Steps’ was an invention to lure tourists, who visited the area from the early 1900s. They were cut in 1907 under the supervision of Mr Beal, the engineer in charge of the power station construction.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

North IslandRotorua RegionTikitere

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Reviews

Sailing Family (UK)'s avatar

Sailing Family (UK)

Ranking: 10/10

Great shady family-friendly loop walk through beautiful forest, just off the main road. Good big car park, clean toilets and picnic tables at start. Options to have a swim near trout falls - careful of current. The highlight for us was watching kayaks and rafts coming over the 7m waterfall and disappear completely beneath the water before popping up again. Our kids (9, 6 and 4) loved this!! Highly recommend.

Reviewed 10 months ago

Chloe B's avatar

Chloe B

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

Awesome walk. Really fun to watch the white water rafters coming through regularly! Easy walk for families

Reviewed almost 3 years ago

Holger Worner's avatar

Holger Worner

Germany

Ranking: 8/10

Nice walk along the river.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Emilie Bavard's avatar

Emilie Bavard

France

Ranking: 8/10

Great short walk to see the Okere Falls, very nice and there is a free campsite not far so it is great to do it late in the afternoon and to get straight to the campsite. Okay for any vehicle which is great.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Bernd Muller's avatar

Bernd Muller

Ranking: 6/10

Easy track to the falls, nice watching water activities. Tutea Caves are nice as well. At some points you can jump into the water and have a short swim.

Reviewed about 4 years ago and experienced in April 2016

Elizabeth Braidotti's avatar

Elizabeth Braidotti

Australia

Ranking: 10/10

A not to miss stop off! It is beautiful the whole way. There's a few different paths to see it from all different views, and make sure you cross the bridge and close the gate behind you to get on a real adventure, just be careful! Insanely beautiful, one of my favourite stop offs.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Matte Svehla's avatar

Matte Svehla

Germany

Ranking: 9/10

The best swing into a waterfall that I ever had an definitely the best morning shower.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Anna Fath's avatar

Anna Fath

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Do not miss these falls when staying in Rotorua. At the end of the road, where the rafting ends, there is a rope that you can use to swing into the water and several platforms (up to 10 metres) from which you can jump into the river and flow with it for a while. A really great experience.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

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Sophie Giblin's avatar

Sophie Giblin

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Super walk! Very junglely but with a clear walking path. You walk along an awesome river with huge waterfalls where you can watch kayakers come tumbling down!

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in December 2015

Bob Fontaine's avatar

Bob Fontaine

Ranking: 8/10

Nice walk! Somewhere halfway the walk you'll get to a T-section. Take the walk down and you will see the 7m waterfall. Arguably the highest commercially rafting waterfall worldwide!

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Toke Frederiksen's avatar

Toke Frederiksen

Denmark

Ranking: 7/10

It is a track down a river with some falls along the way. At the end of the 'Trout Falls' you can jump from the cliffs onto the river, take care of the current.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Florian Aude's avatar

Florian Aude

France

Ranking: 8/10

Wonderful falls.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

dirkdev's avatar

dirkdev

Netherlands

Ranking: 8/10

Good walk - lots to see.

Reviewed almost 11 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner