Last Updated: 17th May 2024


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Otainewainuku - Whataroa Falls

Tauranga, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Lance Knauf

Last Updated: 17th May 2024


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Grunt Factor: 13 ?

Gnarl Factor: 27 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Native bush

Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +9.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -9.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the DOC shelter on the western side of Mountain Road this route follows the anticlockwise track as it winds its way through thick bush to the lookout at the top of Otainewainuku. Take in the views from amongst the trees before continuing on your way. Note that early on the descent the track can get quite slippery but once its gets down on to flatter grounds in winds and undulates its way back to the DOC shelter.

Immediately across the road is the start of the Rimu track/Whataroa Falls which can be continued in the same anti-clockwise manner. Approx 800m from the road the track to Whataroa Falls breaks off towards the east. Follow the single track as it winds its way to the falls where the brave are tempted into the clear blue waters. Return via the same track until the Rimu loop track is reached where you can continue anticlockwise returning you to the carpark.

This trail includes the peak Otanewainuku.

Otainewainuku lookout has views of most of Bay of Plenty, including Rotorua. Whataroa Falls are a great swimming spot in the warmer months. Rimu loop track is scattered with ancient giants.

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Side of the road parking

28 km

31 minutes





Waterproof leggings, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Windproof jacket, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Survival blanket, Cellphone, Map

Only accessible at Whataroa Falls

Slippery descending from Otainewainuku year around.

Trail Legend


Beulah Botha

has completed Otainewainuku - Whataroa Falls once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Nice relaxing Sunday trail run. Beautiful trail with varying terrain from sand, dirt, roots, rocks, mud and everything in between. Ran the waterfall track first with a brief stop for a dip, then battled up to the trig. A few trees across the track to navigate but all are passable and a running river down the left-hand trig track. Highly recommend for a nice run through the forest! - Moving time - 1:20

Ben Neave

May 29, 2023

Nice run - did the falls first with the promise of the final leg being downhill from the trig to finish.

Rob Holm

December 28, 2022

360 Views, a waterfall and single track - the perfect trail combo! We ran the hill first then to the waterfall loop. I’d do it the other way around next time. It’s A great family walk too if that’s more your thing.

Zoe Van Mil Potaka

May 23, 2022

I loved this run! Waterfalls, muddy rooty bush track, twists and turns! Will definitely come back to do more!

Vikki Baker

June 13, 2021

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