Tawhai Falls is a family-friendly 20 minute return walk to an impressive waterfall that tumbles over the edge of an ancient lava flow. The water from Tawhai Falls starts from up at the top of Whakapapa Ski Field, then flows past Whakapapa village, and on to the town of Taumarunui where it joins the mighty Wanganui River. NZ’s most popular river for canoeing and hunting. The easy and enjoyable walk brings you to the waterfall's lookout, then to the falls base.
Fun Fact: This jaw-dropping waterfall is the location of Gollum's pool from Lord of the Rings.
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What to take
- Sturdy comfortable shoes or boots
- Water and wind-proof clothing
- Warm layers (wool or polypropylene)
- Food and plenty to drink
- Sunglasses and sunscreen
- First aid ki
Find out everything you need to plan for this track and others in Tongariro National Park on Plan My Walk
Know before you go:
1. Remember that this trail is in an alpine environment which means that the weather can change rapidly. Make sure you are packed and dressed appropriately.
2. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan on being home.
3. Know your capabilities. Altitude, climbing and heat can make hikes that much more difficult.During winter, parking along SH48 in Whakapapa Village is limited to 3 hours. Parking is intended for visitors to access short walks, the visitor centre, toilets and local shops, restaurants and cafes.
4. During winter, parking along SH48 in Whakapapa Village is limited to 3 hours. Parking is intended for visitors to access short walks, the visitor centre, toilets and local shops, restaurants and cafes.