My family and I stayed in Rotorua for a few days recently and I was itching for us to try out a new walking track. So on our return journey back to Tauranga I convinced everyone that we should try the Okere Falls Track, a sweet little one hour loop track- easy peasy😉 While researching the Department of Conservation (DOC) track information for Okere Falls, I discovered the added bonus that this track is a part of the DOC/Toyota kiwi guardians outdoor activity programme, where the kids follow clues to find an answer along the track and then they can “claim their medal”. There are heaps of activities and tracks out there that are a part of this neat incentive.
At the very start of the Okere Falls track there is a hydroelectric turbine (which I didn’t really look at) because opposite it were some really flash new toilets!😂
Okere Falls is actually off the main track right at the beginning – follow the sign, it’s a one minute detour and the view of the Kaituna river is fantastic! We happened to time it perfectly with a raft coming down the rapids!
We were so caught up with watching the river and rafters that we chose to walk the loop towards “Trout pool Falls” in an anti-clockwise direction, the “un-recommended way” according to the sign 😜. This worked out fine but meant a bit of an uphill slog on the way back. You can find out more about the track details here.
The highlights for us were:
- walking down all the little side tracks to get to the viewing platforms, watching the rafters go over the Okere falls (famously the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world),
- walking down Hinemoa’s steps to reach Tuteas cave, where apparently women and children hid during the Maori wars!
- Following the stunning Kaituna River along the track
- Finding a wallaby sign on the other side of the bridge🦘(they are a pest species in the region!)
- Loop tracks are always a👊 winner in my books!
We didn’t go at night, but if you do apparently there are glow worms!
So grab the whanau and check it out for yourselves!
P.S Okere Falls Scenic Reserve has significance spiritual and cultural significance to Maori you can read more about that here.
Happy adventuring, Tammy.