Waitonga Falls Track | Ohakune

Waitonga Falls Track | Ohakune

Explore a mountain beech forest before emerging onto a picturesque alpine bog with views of Mount Ruapehu. Then, traverse a winding boardwalk to arrive at an impressive tiered waterfall.

This walk climbs steadily from the car park and leads to Tongariro National Park’s highest waterfall at 39 metres. The well graded track passes through mountain beech and mountain cedar forest and when you emerge into the alpine zone there are impressive vistas of Mount Ruapehu on a clear day. Look out for the mountain reflected in the small tarns dotted through the bog that is also home to hungry sundews and bladderworts. After the winding boardwalk section, the trail descends into the forest with a series of switchbacks. You will hear the waterfall before you can spy it through the trees. For the extremely keen, you can get closer to the base of the falls however the main viewing spot is perfect for kids to see the twisting falls and have a bite to eat.

The carnivorous sundews and bladderworts trap and consume animals or single-celled microscopic animals to survive. They often grow where the soil is lacking in nutrients which is why you can spot them in the acidic bog beside the boardwalk.

This walk crosses alpine landscapes so pack warm clothes, wind proof and water proof jackets and a first aid kit. Prepare for all seasons in one day.

Accessibility: Allow 80 to 100min (4km) return for this walk. More for exploring the waterfall. The grade is easy to medium. There are numerous stairs, boardwalks and well-graded paths.
How to get there: The car park is 11km up the Ōhākune Mountain Road towards Tūroa Ski Area. Approximately 15min drive from Ōhākune Village. There is plenty of parking at the start of the trail.
Important stuff: No dogs in Tongariro National Park.
More information: Department of Conservation


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