Tawhai Falls walk

Tawhai Falls walk

Whakapapa Village



8 Rankers Reviews

7 Face-to-Face

391 Walking

18 Tongariro / National Park Village

Your Nature Guide

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Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

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!



Birds eye view - Tawhai Falls
Tawhai Falls, full frontal


800 m return | 15 minutes return

A little beaut of a waterfall, tricking over an old lava bluff. The sort of place Gollum would hang out.

The bottom of the waterfall is a deep, clear pool - adrenalin hooligans have been known to hurl themselves off the top into the blue unknown...

A pretty spot to stretch the legs on the way to Whakapapa.


Tawhai Falls Walk is signposted 3.9 km south of Whakapapa Village, where there’s a small parking bay.


It’s an easy stroll through mountain toatoa and stunted beech forest to the waterfall.


The 13-metre high falls tumble over an ancient lava flow.

European History

Some people have nicknamed the plunge pool ‘Gollums Pool’, as it was used in the filming when Faramir and his archers were watching Gollum fish. This is on account of the rock formations at the base of the falls, which resemble stone trolls from the Hobbit.


Feature Value Info


North IslandRuapehuTongariro / National Park Village


  • Walking
  • Free



Steve Jackson's avatar

Steve Jackson

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Stumbled across this little walk (15 minutes) during a lunch break and enjoyed pictures in the sun by the falls. Easy to get to.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in February 2017

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Stuart's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Easy to get to and a great spot to have a look. Spectacular waterfall!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Megan Telford's avatar

Megan Telford


Ranking: 9/10

Really nice, short walk to a beautiful waterfall. Very easy walk. Pretty scenery at the end.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Lucie Revay's avatar

Lucie Revay

Ranking: 8/10

A short and easy walk to a nice waterfall.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago

Herman Schulz's avatar

Herman Schulz


Ranking: 8/10

Short walks to a great waterfall.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2014

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Janina Zwerver's avatar

Janina Zwerver


Ranking: 9/10

Only a short hike, but a beautiful waterfall at the end.

Reviewed about 6 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Emily and Alex's avatar

Emily and Alex

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful falls, about 25/30drop. Cold water, rainbows in spray. If mad, you can jump from the top and land in the deep pool underneath.

Reviewed over 10 years ago and experienced in November 2009

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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 😍

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Nick Morrison

Rankers owner