The highest waterfall in the North Island is within the Kaimai National Park. The waterfalls are approximately 15 minutes drive from Matamata to the carpark at the start of the walk. The popular route is well maintained however there are a considerable number of steps. The bridges crossing tributaries of the Wairere River give visitors views of moss covered boulders, gentle cascades of water and opportunities to soak feet in the streams. There are several viewing platforms to choose from lower and upper. The viewing platforms provide views from the halfway point to the spectacular drop of 153 metres. At the end of summer the water flow is diminished with large areas of exposed rock face.
DOC description of waterfall route.
5 km return via same track
Walking and tramping
3 – 4 hr
Easy: Walking track
Advanced: Tramping track
A great view of the falls can easily be seen from Old Te Aroha Road.
From the car park, an undulating track crosses moss covered rocks and tree roots.
It meets up with the river and crosses a number of bridges. There is a steady climb up the steps to the base of the cliff, through a grove of nīkau, pūriri and kohekohe, before leading to a lookout platform with a spectacular view of the falls (45 minutes from road end).
The falls drop 153 m over the steep escarpment, which is part of the Okauia fault line. In spring, watch out for the apricot-coloured flowers of the taurepo plant on the rocky valley walls.
The track then climbs further, with plenty of steps and staircases in the steeper section. At the top of the hill, the track passes through forest before reaching the falls lookout after about 90 minutes. Return the same, Wairere Falls Track: Kaimai Mamaku Conservation Park, Bay of Plenty region.