Last Updated: 12th Feb 2024


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McLaren Falls Lakeside Loop

Tauranga, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Shane Bowling

Last Updated: 12th Feb 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 7

Gnarl Factor: 17








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, small hills only


Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +6.9%

Average Downhill Gradient: -6.8%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting from the carpark below Rotary camp follow the Lakeside walkway southwest towards Top Flat until you hit the road. Hang a left and follow the trail alongside the road for 200m and then take the entry to the Pine Tree Knoll lookout track on the right hand side of the road. Take the right fork and head up to the lookout.

After descending down you will join the Ponga Grove track and towards the end cross a small grassy area into Nikau track. Keep right at the junction with the Waterfall track and soon you will be at the waterfall where you will cross the stream.

At the exit of the Waterfall track head straight across the road and pickup the little trail down to the lake side. Turn right for an out and back section along the lakefront.

Turn around when you hit the road and return along the Lakeside trail, crossing the bridge at Cherry Bay and carry on back to the car park.

Waterfall, glowworms, dam.

Car parks are available at the start point or on the road into McLaren Falls park.

0 km

0 minutes




Lots of little trails to pick and mix. It is worth it having a look at the map board located in most of the parking areas.

Generally good.

Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone.

Water avaialble at campsites

Opening hours for park gates are:
Summer from 7.30am to 7.30pm, when daylight saving starts
Winter from 7.30am to 5.30pm, when daylight saving ends
Outside these times need to park at carpark on McLaren falls road

The Falls Cafe

Trail Legend


Robbie Inglis

has completed McLaren Falls Lakeside Loop 6 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Enjoyed the quietness of the trail head cark park. Dispite the longer drive, I can see why this was picked rather that more busy social area.
Lot's of facilities, toilet and water fountains dotted around the park and cell reception.

Emma Dryland

February 11

Real fun run made even better by the heavy rain that made the waterfalls look stupendous. If you're wanting to add some distance (will make total run about 11 and a half kms) tack on the Ruahihi Canal loop which is perfect for doing some strides/intervals. Access is at the end of Lakeside Track just across McLaren Falls Road.

Anthony Sowerby

January 28, 2023

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