Tawhai Falls Walk – Tongariro National Park

tawhai falls walk

Without a doubt one of the shortest hikes in the entire Tongariro National Park, the Tawhai Falls Walk is an easy, little meander through mountain beech forest.

Beginning at a small car park located 4km below the Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre on SH48, this is an incredibly easy track to follow.

I’d also say that in comparison to the Whakapapanui Track within the context of photography, it’s an absolute winner.

Once you’ve left the car park, it should take you no longer than 15 minutes to reach the Tawhai Falls themselves.

There are two really nice spots to view the falls – a small little lookout that overlooks the top and down below where you’ve got two spots to view it from.

tawhai falls walk

The top lookout is really nice and gives you a small glimpse of what’s to come but I reckon the bottom lookout is where it’s at.

A simple Google Image search confirms that as most photos of the Tawhai Falls are taken from the bottom lookout.

And for those of you who might be a fan of Lord of the Rings, the Tawhai Falls Walk is the location of Gollum’s Pool in the Two Towers.

In fact, there are many other locations in the Tongariro National Park that feature in the Lord of the Rings with the most popular one being Mount Ngauruhoe which was used as Mount Doom in Mordor.

If you’ve ever walked through any of the volcanic areas in the park, you can see why Peter Jackson chose it as the location for Mordor.

tawhai falls walk

So, who would this walk ideally suit? Much like Whakapapanui Track, it really is for anyone.

It’s a casual walk that anyone could easily do and would be ideal if you’re looking for something relaxing to do without exerting any serious effort.

Plus, let’s be honest, the sound of rushing water along a stream or a waterfall is about as relaxing as it gets when it comes to the outdoors.

If you’re a hack photographer like me you can still manage to get some half-decent photos regardless if you’ve only got a smartphone such is the scenery at the Tawhai Falls.

If you’re keen on downloading the Tawhai Falls Walk to your phone or watch device, you can do so via our WikiLoc account here.

The Stats – Tawhai Falls Walk

Length (km): 1.30kms (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 32mins
Moving Time: 11mins
Difficulty: Easy (Grade 3)
Maximum Elevation: 965m
Accum. elev. uphill: 31m
Accum. elev. downhill: 31m
Return/Loop/One Way: Loop/Return

2 Responses
  1. Ken

    Wish I had known about this when I spent a day around the lower levels because the Crossing was misted in. Saw several of the other waterfalls.

    1. John Feeney

      Yeah it’s a good little track. Incredibly short but the waterfall is nice enough to sit by for at least an hour.

      Cheers, Ken!


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