Waterfalls & Kauri!Beginner
Submitted by Mike Tennent
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Out and Back
Undulating, small hills only
Native bushPlantation/exotic forestRiverside
May 2021: The bridge is not accessible as it was wiped out after the 2020 floods. No immediate plans to rebuild. Whareora Road can be used instead for this short part of the track. If you have an update please email us
Leaving the carpark, take the time to thouroughly clean your shoes at the station. As trail runners we are more at risk than probably anyone else of spreading Kauri Dieback.
Once the shoes are clean, hit that track and turn left immediately. Follow this well formed trail, the first major intersection is a trail off to the right, but you can see that just heads to the road, so carry on. The next intersection has the canopy walk off to the left... ignore this (for now) and carry on climbing the trail.
The next intersection gives you two choices, but you head right on the McKinnon Track and start climbing the steps. You will eventually get to the view of the waterfall. Once you have snapped a pic or two. carry on up the trail to the road, turn right, over the wee bridge and into the park on the other side. Work your way down to just above the top of the falls.
Here you have two choices... if the river is not too high work your way over to the other side and climb the pretty obvious unofficial track up to the previous trail. If the river is high then just retrace your steps. Once you get back to the McKinnon Track start, carry on the Alexander Walk and watch out for a small sign on your left to the Hatea River Walk and Whangarei Falls. Head on down this flat well formed trail.
At one point you come into a paddock with a lesser trail across the grass, fight the temptation and hang a left to follow the trail. After a while you will hear the falls and then see the bridge that gives you the view, but just before that there is a trail to the left to the car park. Follow that trail.
Once on top, follow the path to the right, around and over the bridge, keeping an eye out as there are several great photo spots here. On that side you will see a sign saying "Circular Walk to base of Falls" . Follow this down and over the bridge we saw earlier. Once you have taken some more pics, retrace your steps assl the way back to where you saw the 'Hatea River Walk' sign and head right. A short time later you will come to the cleaning station... don't stop, keep going on the trail you started on up to the Canopy Walk bridge... head over that and then complete the loop again.
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Features of interest
Two waterfalls... one very cool. Lots of Kauri... and quite a cool free canopy walk.
Make Up of Run
Untracked / Route only: 0%
Technical Single Track: 0%
Moderate Single Track: 10%
Easy Single Track: 87%
Farm Road / 4WD Track: 0%
Gravel Road: 0%
Sealed Road: 3%
The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each
Head down Whareora Road and watch out for AH Reed Memorial Park on the left... the carpark is pretty obvious.
Good size carpark with toilets and map.
Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.
River pretty much all the way, not sure of the safety of drinking it.
Pretty good all year around
A few tree roots, that's about all.
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See other runs nearby:
3 Pigs Trail
Te Whara / Bream Head
Bream Head Te Whara Trail
Town Basin, Whangarei Falls & Parihaka
Taraire Ridge and Pukenui Loop
Tane Moana Road and Trail
Coronation Reserve Short Loop
1100 Steps to WOW!
Parihaka Hatea Loop
Mount Aubrey Loop
Tangihua Transmitter Loop
Teal Bay, Te Araroa Trail Loop
Hatea River Trail