Tawhai Falls

Tongariro National Park

This short easy walk in the Tongariro National Park is accessible on foot from Whakapapa Village or a short drive to the start of the track.

Tawhai Falls is a 13 metre high waterfall located in the UNESCO Dual World Heritage Tongariro National Park.

The track begins 4km below Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre in Whakapapa Village on SH48 and is an easy 10-15 minute walk to the waterfall's lookout.

The walk is along a track and down steps through mountain toatoa and beech forest. The beautiful falls tumble over the edge of an ancient lava flow.

Tawhai Falls is also the filming location of Gollum’s pool where Faramir and his archers are watching Gollum fish. If you use your imagination, you can just about hear Gollum singing his song as he fishes in the pool at the bottom of the falls!

Find out everything you need to plan for this track and others in Tongariro National Park on Plan My Walk

Distance 0.5km
Time 15 - 20 minutes return
Physical rating Easy
Direction Return via the same track
Transport & guides No
Dog access No dogs

Know before you go

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

Before starting out, hikers should check the weather forecast and track conditions - Tongariro National Park weather is extremely changeable year round. Check with the Taupo or Turangi visitor information centres before you go.

Be prepared for cold, wet or windy weather at all times. Heavy rain causes increased water flows in all streams and rivers in the park and they may not be safe to cross.

Giardia may be present in some streams in the park. We recommend you treat all water before you drink it.

What to take

  • Water- and wind-proof clothing (jacket and over-trousers)
  • Warm layers (wool or polypropylene)
  • Sturdy comfortable shoes or boots
  • Food and plenty to drink
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • First aid kit

Opening times

Business hours
Open every day. Free entry
Physical address:
4km below Tongariro National Park Visitor Centre, SH48
Whakapapa Village
Tongariro National Park
New Zealand
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