The views across the eastern arm of Lake Tarawera to Mount Tarawera are composed of dense green forest, placid rippling water and the sombre hulk of the dormant volcano.
Note the Timing below regarding access.
From 1 August 2018, permits to the Tarawera Falls and Tarawera Outlet will be issued from the office of Maori Investments Limited.
Weekends and Public Holidays
Due to Maori Investments office closure on weekends and public holiday’s permits can be
obtained in advance:
Online via Maori Investments website; or by
Contacting our office during office hours.
Alternatively permits required on weekends and public holidays can also be obtained by
visiting the premises of the Kawerau iSite Visitor Information Centre.
Waterhouse Street Extension, Kawerau
0800 MIL 123 / 0800 645 123
Office Hours: Monday – Friday
8.30am – 5.00pm
Kawerau iSite Visitor Information Centre
The Bus Terminal, Plunket Street, Kawerau
07 323 6300
Weekend Operating Hours
9.00am – 4.00pm
A map and directions will be given once you’ve got the permit in your hands.
Access to Tarawera Falls is sporadically signposted and passes through forestry roads, which are mostly unsealed. Be extremely careful, drive with your lights on and watch for logging trucks.
From S.H.34 in Kawerau, turn into River Road and then Waterhouse Street. After 1km turn left then right into Rotoiti Road (unsealed) and continue 13km to the junction with Tarawera Road. After 4.5km turn left into Waterfall Road. The roadend is a further 5.3km, where there is a parking area and toilets at the Lake Tarawera Outlet Campsite.
Cross the swingbridge from the campground at Tarawera Outlet and turn left. The track mostly passes through shaded forest.
For 1 hour the track follows the lake edge, before climbing inland. The track becomes narrower and more uneven, but marked with orange triangles. On descending to the lake shore again, it is a further 30 minutes to Humphries Bay.
Volcanic eruptions have been occurring in the region of Mount Tarawera for approximately 400,000 years, but most information is recorded from the last 21,000 years.
Between 400,000 and 50,000 years ago, there were 5 or 6 huge eruptions in the region, ejecting approximately 500 cubic kilometres of magma. This caused a collapse of overlying ground to form an 18 by 25km basin known as a caldera. A 10-50-metre-thick layer of ash and pumice coated the entire region and welded to form an ignimbrite sheet.
50,000-24,000 year ago there were 8 smaller eruptions of ash and pumice.
During the last 21,000 years, 80 cubic kilometres of magma have been ejected in 11 separate episodes and built up the Haroharo and Tarawera craters. Around 40 vents have erupted rhyolite magma with pyroclastic explosions of ash and pumice.
18,000 years ago, eruptions began to form the present Mount Tarawera and other rhyolite eruptions 15,000, 11,000 and 800 years ago have accumulated to form the prototype of the present form.
On the 10th June 1886 the largest volcanic eruption in New Zealand’s recorded history formed a gash on the full length of the crater and spurted a column of ash 10km into the air.
Basalt scoria and mud were spread over a large area of the Bay of Plenty and ash fell onto ships 220km from the source. Over 100 fatalities were recorded from nearby settlements in Rotomahana. Lightning in the eruption cloud sent fireballs which set light to buildings in Te Wairoa Bay. There was daylight darkness over the Bay of Plenty and East Cape Regions.
North Island ▷ Rotorua Region ▷ Tarawera
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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 😍