“A short alpine trail taking in beech forests, the Wairere Stream, and stunning Taranaki Falls.”
— Kerry Suter
River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Relatively short and flat, except the stairs by Taranaki Falls. A good variety of scenery, terrain, and points of interest to keep everyone interested.
The Taranaki Falls Track leaves the Whakapapa Village, and leads one on a scenic journey to Taranaki Falls. The route will begin with a gentle descent towards Wairere Stream that is reached about .85 miles from the trailhead. There is a trail junction here with Mangatepopo Track
. Stay to the right to continue on Taranaki Falls Track
After reaching Wairere Stream, you'll begin a moderate climb. The way isn't overly strenuous. The trail follows Wairere Stream to Taranaki Falls, going through the spectacular water-worn gorge of the Wairere Stream. It also passes another smaller waterfall. Taranaki Falls is about two miles from the trailhead.
Tumbling 20 meters over the edge of a large lava flow, which erupted from Ruapehu 15,000 years ago, Taranaki Falls plunges into a boulder-ringed pool. The trail climbs steeply on a long set of steps to get to the top of Taranaki Falls.
At the top of Taranaki Falls, Taranaki Falls Track meets up with Tama Lakes Track
. Go right at this trail junction to continue on Taranaki Falls Track that returns to the visitor center. Immediately after this trail junction, Taranaki Falls Track crosses Wairere Stream on a very sturdy bridge, just above Taranaki Falls. The trail then descends very gradually through grass, tussock, brush, and forested terrain, as it returns to the visitor center.