Just 10 minutes’ drive from Matamata, the Wairere Falls is the highest waterfall in the North Island and a popular walking track in the Waikato.

Wairere Falls, Matamata, New Zealand

Wairere Falls, Matamata

The return hike to the viewing platform at the base of the Wairere falls takes about an hour and a half. It is an attractive walk along a well maintained track. Small wooden bridges take you across the stream at several points, affording lovely views of little cascades and providing opportunities to cool tired feet in the refreshing water.

The sight from the viewing platform is spectacular – water plunges 153 metres over the falls, before forming little streamlets that flow through moss covered rocks and ferns.

From here, the more intrepid can trek a further 30 - 45 minutes to another lookout at the top of the falls, from where there is a breath-taking view back over the valley and the Waikato plains beyond. It is about two hours from the base of the falls to this further lookout, so getting there and returning to your car will make this a rewarding full day hike.

Wairere Falls walk details:

  • Location: The Wairere Falls walk starts at the car park on Goodwin Road, off Old Te Aroha Road.
  • More Info: www.doc.govt.nz
  • Please Note: Many of the walking trails in the Hamilton & Waikato region do not allow dogs. Hamilton & Waikato Tourism recommended checking with the Department of Conservation before taking your dog on any of the trails in the region.