Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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Orokawa Bay & William Wright Falls

Waihi Beach, Bay of Plenty

Submitted by Mark Samson

Last Updated: 21st Sep 2023


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 15 ?

Gnarl Factor: 38 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush




Run Makeup


Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Untracked / Route only

Average Uphill Gradient: +12.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -12.1%


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Estimated Times to Run







From the north end of Waihi Beach follow the DoC track for 2.5km over to Orokawa Bay. Once you arrive at the bay, keep on the narrow, less used track amongst the pohutukawa and keep going north. You'll do two small creek crossings before heading up an incline off the beach and you'll be on the track that leads to Homunga Bay. Stay on this track for two hundred metres looking out for the sign on your left pointing to Willaim Wright Falls. Follow the orange DoC markers for about 1km (it might seem longer) upstream and the falls are up a short track that you'll see on your left. It's well marked. There are lots of creek crossing on this last section.
Turn around and head back the way you came.

UPDATE, AUG 2020: The section from the main trail to the Falls (1.2 km each way) is now completely overgrown, has no maintenance and is a scramble mainly in the stream itself. There is no trail except a couple of stream corner shortcuts through thick and painful over-head-high cutty grass. There are occasional markers in the stream bed that are irrelevant as it is better to stay in the stream for most of the time. The stream is seldom more than mid shin deep but the rocks can be very slippery in parts.The turn off the stream down a side stream to the falls is well marked.

Run through DoC pohutukawa forest along the cliff-tops to secluded Orokawa Bay, into nikau palms as you head up the creek to Willam Wright Falls. The creek and the falls cut through cool volcanic rock formations.

If you know of any public toilets near the trail start or on the route, please login and then let us know so we can update this section.

Park in the car park at the northern end of The Esplanade, Waihi Beach. There is a toilet/shower block about 100m south and a kid's playground. There's also very safe swimming in front of the surf club.

2 km

4 minutes




The William Wright Falls Track is 200m north of where you leave the north end Orokawa Beach

Generally good.

Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Cellphone

The only water available is from the creeks. These drain from farms inland so I wouldn't recommend them for drinking. Take your own.

The creek that you follow up to the falls might get deep and swift after prolonged rain in winter but will generally be ok to cross all year round.

This is a pretty safe trail.

Flat White Cafe
Shaw Road, Waihi Beach
Great hosts and spectacular beachfront location

Trail Legend


Carl Simmons

has completed Orokawa Bay & William Wright Falls once in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Great run with awesome rock hopping up the track to the falls. By running up the stream bed you avoid all the cutty grass on the banks. Climb up the foot holes in the rock shown in the photo...nice little pool up there.

christine weeks

January 31, 2020

Great run with a lot of rock hopping for the 1.2km stretch out to the waterfall. Well worth the effort to run along the river bad and it provides the lower limbs with a great workout! Thanks for sharing Mark.

Anthony Sowerby

January 19, 2020

Great speedy weekend run. the track up to the falls has turned into a rock scramble/river bed run due to the last lot of flooding. great reflex training!

Dale Oswald

June 21, 2018

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