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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
North Island ▷ Rotorua Region ▷ Tikitere
Awesome walk. Really fun to watch the white water rafters coming through regularly! Easy walk for families
Nice walk along the river.
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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.
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.
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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.
The best swing into a waterfall that I ever had an definitely the best morning shower.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Good walk - lots to see.
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 😍