“Wairere Falls Track weaves its way through moss covered rocks and tree roots. Large round boulders form natural pools and cascading waterfalls.”
The falls can be seen from the Te Aroha-Okauia Road and are signposted from the Goodwin Road turnoff. In spring, watch out for the apricot coloured flowers of the taurepo or sandpaper plant on the rocky valley walls.
From the carpark a well formed track weaves its way through moss covered rocks and tree roots. It meets up with the river and bridges assist with river crossings. There is a steady climb up the base of the cliff where sets of steps lead to the top of the gorge. The track passes through a grove of nīkau, pūriri and kohekohe before leading to a lookout platform with a spectacular view looking from the base of the falls. The falls drop 153 m over the steep escarpment, which is part of the Okauia fault line.
The track climbs further with plenty of steps and staircases in the steep section. At the top of the hill the track winds through a rich mosaic of forest species with tawa. The track then branches to the falls lookout. From this point the return tramp to the lookout will take you 2 hours. There is a magnificent view looking back over the valley and the Waikato Plains.
Over the summer there are plenty of pools to paddle in and the track can be explored further upriver.
Return via the same track.
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