Haruru Falls Track

Haruru Falls Track

Waitangi National Trust Mangrove Walk


22 Rankers Reviews

21 Face-to-Face

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!


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Haruru Falls
Mature trees along the track


approx 6 km one-way | 2 hours one-way

The elegantly constructed boardwalk through the mangroves provides the ideal way to explore this unique habitat, which is otherwise inaccessible by foot.


The walk starts from the northern end of the Waitangi National Trust Park, opposite the Waitangi Trust Visitor Centre. This is the nearest carpark.

Alternatively, if attempting the walk in reverse, follow Puketona Road from Paihia for 5km and turn right into Haruru Falls Road. There is a carpark on the right after the bridge over the Waitangi River.


Initially the track skirts the golf course (follow the yellow marker posts), before passing through a turnstile. Through the kanuka forest the track is wide and well-formed but unmetalled.

After 1 hour the track crosses an arm of the estuary on a boardwalk, which continues for approximately 20 minutes through the mangroves. It can be slippery when wet.

At the end of the boardwalk, turn left. The track skirts the shoreline of the Waitangi River before exiting through a turnstile. There is a 2-minute walk from the carpark at the Haruru Falls to a lookout over the falls.


Mangroves (Avicennia resinifera) are uniquely adapted to their harsh environment. Their shallow radial roots anchor well in the anaerobic muds and protect the trees from strong winds and tidal scours. Vertical breathing roots, known as pneumatophores, are exposed at low tide and enable the trees to transpire.

The leaves have a waxy topside, which reflects the strong light, and a downy coat of fine hairs on their underside retards the loss of water through transpiration. Mangrove seeds germinate on the tree and the seedpods can be carried on tidal currents for up to four months while the seed remains viable.

Mangroves are important indicators of the ecological health of an estuary. They reoxygenate the water and provide habitat for molluscs, crustaceans, up to 30 fish species and numerous wading birds.

After the boardwalk, the native vegetation sequence is exhibited on the estuary, from mangroves to salt marshes to coastal scrub.

Polynesian History

The Haruru Falls form a picturesque crescent and drain the Waitangi River. Before the advent of Europeans, horses and bridle tracks, the Waitangi River was the main Maori communications route. Haruru Falls represented the entrance to the Bay of Islands.

European History

Haruru was a busy port in the late 1800s, exporting timber, kauri gum, cattle, dairy produce, sheep and wool.


Feature Value Info


Far North District Council

Local government organisation


North IslandNorthlandPaihia


  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 21.

Anna Gruenewald's avatar

Anna Gruenewald


Ranking: 7/10

Nice view but sometimes too much bush.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Jacob's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

A nice walk through the forest on a small road. The bad thing is that the waterfall is small but the walk is really nice.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Vincent's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

Three hour walk . Nice bush walk into the mangrove. At the end, you end up at a waterfall. It was not an impressive waterfall. Coming back by the road is risky.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Julie Miehling's avatar

Julie Miehling


Ranking: 9/10

Really nice walk with nice spots! The walk over the river was also really good.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in March 2016

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Chiara's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Mangrove part is very nice, through Kiwi territory, then on to the waterfall at the end.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

Andreas Schiefer's avatar

Andreas Schiefer


Ranking: 6/10

Very nice walk through forest, one can see mangroves, lots of birds. But Haruru Falls itself is a bit disappointing as it is really tiny.

Reviewed about 6 years ago

Phil Bromby's avatar

Phil Bromby

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Started at Falls, straight into a bushwalk which got a bit boring then through a Mangrove swamp - very interesting. Took 2 hours.

Reviewed over 7 years ago and experienced in March 2014

Andrew Luke's avatar

Andrew Luke


Ranking: 9/10

Good track through forest, kiwi habitat, mangrove forests. With Haruru Falls as the destination it is a lovely walk.

Reviewed almost 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

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jonas meier's avatar

jonas meier


Ranking: 7/10

2 hour walk through the forest.

Reviewed about 8 years ago

Paul Balfour's avatar

Paul Balfour

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Really long way but beautiful at the end.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in December 2013

paulweig's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

A well maintained and pleasing track, but one which has been reported inaccurately by e.g. paihia.co.nz making all other downline figures wrong too.

Stats from GPS: averaged over several two-way journeys:
Distance one way = 4.6 km.
Time one way = 1.5 hours (slow-to-moderate pace with a few stops to take in the scenery). Terrain is flat to slight undulation, never more than ca. 20 m ASL. Hope that puts it into perspective.

Reviewed about 9 years ago

Pietersen's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Nice track goes through the mangrove - about two hours.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Jochem Snyders's avatar

Jochem Snyders


Ranking: 7/10

A lot of different things to see and a nice and quiet place in the touristic Bay of Islands.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in February 2012

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