Wairere Falls Track

Wairere Falls Track

Wairere Falls Track


24 Rankers Reviews

16 Face-to-Face

4 Matamata

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!


Deep Nature

FREE MAP - The best of 21 nature guidebooks on one map.

Online Maps

FREE Header

Deep Nature NEW

Author Marios Gavalas, Rankers and hundreds of contributors bring you a free web map to help you get lost (and find yourself) in Aotearoa's nature.

FREE Header

Camping NZ NEW

Welcome to New Zealand's most comprehensive database of freely available camping information. This is the only travel map of its kind in NZ.


The Wairere Falls pumping after the rain
Go the Waikato, go the cows.......


5 km return | 3 hours return

The Wairere Falls cascade over 150 metres and form a visible feature over much of the Hauraki and Waikato Plains.


Wairere Falls are signposted along Goodwin Road off Old Te Aroha Road, 17km north of S.H.24 and 27km south of Te Aroha.


The track has been completely annihilated by storms in recent years, but is now up and running.

Follow the well-formed track to the river crossings. Admire the flow (which has passed over the waterfall) from the bridges.

The track then steepens and has steps, heading to the gorge, where there is a platform at the base of the falls.


The 153-m high falls tumble over an escarpment which is part of the Okauia Fault Line.

European History

It was this conspicuous presence which gained them notoriety as a landmark for navigation in the days when the only mode of travel was by foot. Travellers were drawn to the falls as they knew this indicated the start of the Wairere Track.

Ngauhue, an early Polynesian explorer from Rarotonga, was said to have killed a moa at the base of the falls and taken the flesh back to his homeland.

Following Hongi Hika’s devastating musket raids in the 1820s, many Ngati Maru became firmly encamped in the traditional tribal areas of Waikato peoples. Tensions mounted and, under the leadership of Te Waharoa, muskets, men and flax were brought over the Wairere Track for the ensuing battles.

Later, Ngati Haua prevented the use by Ngati Maru of the Hauraki Gulf as a port, so the main sea port became Tauranga and all goods were carried over the Wairere Track. Traders carting sacks of flax and kumara caused the route to often degenerate into a quagmire, especially in winter.

During the period of early European occupation, many missionaries, traders, explorers, tourists, prospectors and travellers passed over the Wairere Track. Archdeacon Alfred Brown, the pioneer missionary of Matamata, walked the track many times between 1834 and 1858. His travels were described in journals.

E. Dieffenbach, F. Hochstetter, William Colenso, and Bishop Pompallier were among the early travellers who traversed the route.


Feature Value Info


DOC Bay of Plenty

Central government organisation


North IslandWaikatoMatamata


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 22.

David Santos's avatar

David Santos


Ranking: 9/10

Lovely track and very well signalled. Quite muddy due to heavy rain in the previous hours.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Eva Neumann's avatar

Eva Neumann


Ranking: 10/10

The way up was hard and muddy, but at the top I was proud of myself, because the view and the silence were so impressive.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Breanna Alexander's avatar

Breanna Alexander

Ranking: 8/10

Bit of a tough track! Only made it to the lower viewing area. Lots of beautiful little water pools along the way, probably the most beautiful part. Great for swimming.

Reviewed over 5 years ago

Michelle Smit's avatar

Michelle Smit


Ranking: 9/10

Excellent walking track, through rainforest, up many steps to the base of the falls. Had been very wet before we arrived (and when we were there) but track was still in good order. Highly recommended.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago

Thank You - to the thousands of travellers that have contributed to our Top Voted NZ Activities Map - it's free from Rankers.

Liam Bates's avatar

Liam Bates

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

The hour long walk to see the highest waterfall in the North Island was totally worth it. Well maintained track, plenty of sign posting and breathtaking views of the falls made walking for an hour in the rain all worth it.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Niklas Fastabend's avatar

Niklas Fastabend


Ranking: 10/10

Long and exhausting walk up to the top, but it is definitely worth it, you have the awesome view at the top of the waterfall over Matamata.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Lara Vogt's avatar

Lara Vogt


Ranking: 9/10

Breathtaking views from the top and really nice but steep and long and exhausting.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Sarah Boettcher's avatar

Sarah Boettcher


Ranking: 7/10

Very steep and rough walk through the bush. On the Summit you have a great view (top of the 150m long waterfall).

Reviewed over 6 years ago and experienced in October 2015

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Lee Farrington's avatar

Lee Farrington

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Worth the trek to the top as the view is absolutely stunning! The only negative is that at one point on the trail the signs are unclear and we ended up veering off onto another much longer trail along with another couple who had also made the same mistake a few minutes earlier.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Abi Fielder's avatar

Abi Fielder

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Beautiful area, well maintained track. Stunning falls worth the effort! for us it took longer than the 45 minutes on the sign to reach the half way point but that is with stopping for pictures and rests.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in February 2015

Daniel Kueuzberger's avatar

Daniel Kueuzberger


Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful waterfall.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in January 2015

Brian's avatar


United States

Ranking: 8/10

Beautiful falls! Long walk with lots of stairs. Still worth the time and effort to see.

Reviewed over 8 years ago and experienced in October 2013

Bjorn Hedmark's avatar

Bjorn Hedmark


Ranking: 9/10

A beautiful waterfall with lush green forest surrounding it. A good workout with nice tracks.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in February 2013

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 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner