Last Updated: 25th Sep 2023


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done

Tupapakurua Falls

National Park, Manawatu - Wanganui

Submitted by Orla Drylie

Last Updated: 25th Sep 2023


Save Trail Save

I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 17 ?

Gnarl Factor: 55 ?








Login as a VIP to see driving directions, distance and time.

Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Very hilly

Dog Friendly

Native bush

Plantation/exotic forest

Run Makeup


Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +11.6%

Average Downhill Gradient: -11.6%


Login as a VIP to see the trailhead information.

Estimated Times to Run







This is a hidden gem in National Park, not often explored due to the technical nature of the trail. It starts off cruisy, leading you into a false sense of security! 1km in is Taranaki lookout - definitely worth a brief stop. Another 2km along and you get a magnificent view of the Falls. And that's when the fun begins! The last 500 metres of this trail is un-maintained so there is quite a clamber down to the bottom of the Falls, but certainly worth the effort. If you're brave, go for a swim but be prepared for the cold!

Re-trace your steps and watch out for goats who often frequent the track

You will be treated with the most delightful waterfall at the end of the track

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.

Small carpark that may hold 8-10 cars. No public transport

2 km

5 minutes





Long-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

Drink from the stream at the base of the waterfall (at your own risk)

The final clamber down the waterfall can be quite slippery, so beware

Macrocarpa Cafe
3 Waimarino-Tokaan Road, National Park
Great coffee, delicious food menu, fabulous staff

Schnapps Bar
Corner of Findlay Street and SH4
Huge portions, beer/cider on tap, fireplace, open from 10am, sports bar

Trail Legend


DJ Gillming

has completed Tupapakurua Falls once in the last year.

Learn about Trail Legends.

You and Tupapakurua Falls

As a VIP member you can record private notes for this trail, see all of your times and more.

Register Now

Already have an account? Login now

Trail Reviews

One of my favourite trails while living in National Park...The bucket brigade has been working steadily for years to improve the track. I typically run or walk here during winter, so what a treat to spy oodles of werewere kokako on my visit in February! 💙🍄

DJ Gillming

August 21, 2023

I did this on a wet day a few years ago. No trouble getting down to the fall, the issue was getting back up. It was worth it for the view of the falls. At that time there was a bucket chain moving gravel for the track, once I got to the end of the chain there was some fantastic single track before the descent.

Kate Annan

April 14, 2021

Great trial close to NP, could even extend it if you wanted to grind up the gravel road to the start. Last 500m is not runnable in any true form, maybe a brisk tramp, might not even be worth it but for the awesome falls at the end. Agree with Mike weather is key, rain a couple of days prior or early morning with the dew and the ground is grippy and run to run. I got 7km and 487m of up and down. As Mike said lots of signs they'll be making improvements or touristifying the trail soon, get at it while you can!

Eddie Crawford

April 5, 2021

Choose your weather to do this... cos the technical bit down to the river was a battle in the dry. Great trail though. Signs that it may be ‘touristified’ over the next few years though, so get out and run it now. I made it nearer to 9km and nearly 500 vert... so be aware.

Mike Tennent

March 12, 2021

Login to submit a review

Trail Running Community

Find people who are interested in or have completed this trail run.

You must register or login to view this feature.

Register Now

Other trails nearby
Dome If You Want To

Dome If You Want To

Length: 13.6km

Level: Intermediate

Hauhangatahi Wilderness

Hauhangatahi Wilderness

Length: 14.6km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Whakapapanui Track

Whakapapanui Track

Length: 6.3km

Level: Beginner

Sash and Door Trail

Sash and Door Trail

Length: 21.0km

Level: Beginner - Intermediate

Find more trails and peaks nearby