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Stop 2

Waterfalls, walks and a gondola ride up a mountains

Tawhai Falls Tawhai Falls
Mounds walk, tundra and mountains Mounds walk, tundra and mountains

All of the walks are on State Highway 48, in the vicinity of Whakapapa Village. The walks offer a variety of scenery, from waterfalls, high altitude vegetation to avalanche debris. They are well signposted, with information panels and easy to moderate gradients. A gem of water, sky, rocks in an alpine setting.

Whakapapa Nature Walk

The first walk is closest to the Visitor Centre, Whakapapa Nature Walk introduces the walker to the flora and fauna with on site information panels.  This walk can be completed by all fitness levels. Wheelchair accessible on a sealed loop track.

  • Length: 300 metres
  • Duration: 15 minutes

The Mounds Walk

The Mounds walk is a short easy walk for children with a history of human occupation and volcanic activity. Detailed information panels engage the walker to reassess the landscape for telltale signs of avalanche debris. There is a great photo moment of Mount Ngauruhoe at the commencement of this walk. The best position for a photo is at the top of the steps as you are elevated with soaring Mountain backdropping the tundra. Not wheelchair accessible.

Tawhai Falls Walk

Tawhai Falls walk packs a punch with mountain toatoa, beech forest, bird song and then a pretty waterfall at the end of the walk. To access the waterfalls there is a short climb over rocks slippery when wet. There are steps to the Tawhai Falls with handrails. It is a favourite spot for instagrammers due to the Gollom scene in the film Lord of the Rings.

  • Length: 800 metres
  • Duration: 25 minutes
  • Grade: medium (steps)

Ridge Track Walk

Ridge Track starts with the dappled light of beech forest then the horizon widens to alpine shrubs and the reward of a panoramic view of  Mt Ngauruhoe. As the walk is aptly described you have climbed a ridge with a truely great moment to soak into the view of the mountain poised against the sky. If it is cloudy, as happens, return for another day in the mountains.

  • Length: 1.2 km
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Grade: easy / medium
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