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Orokawa Bay & William Wright Falls, Bay of Plenty

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Orokawa Bay & William Wright FallsBeginner

Submitted by Mark Samson

Info Info
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Trail Information





Bay of Plenty

Waihi Beach

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, small hills only

Native bush


2:10 (Slow)
1:40 (Moderate)
1:15 (Fast)



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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.

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Features of interest

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.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 30%

Moderate Single Track: 20%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

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  • Access

    At the very north end of Waihi Beach look for the well-signposted track that continues north over to Orokawa Bay.

    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



  • Staying Safe


    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.

  • Post run indulgence

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

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    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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