The star of the show may be the Tongariro Crossing inside this beautiful National Park, but there’s plenty of other great short hikes in the area! We originally hadn’t heard of the Taranaki Falls Track before coming to the country. Yet after seeing the Tongariro National Park waterfall it quickly became one of our favorite walks in New Zealand.
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About the Taranaki Falls Track
Time Needed: 2 Hours
Location: Taranaki Falls Trail Start
Like we mentioned above, the main attraction of Tongariro National Park in New Zealand is the Tongariro Crossing. However, if you’re in this region of the North Island it will give you plenty of time for other smaller hikes before or after the big one.
You can start with either the upper or lower section of the Taranaki Falls Track. Don’t worry about missing either part though! The upper and lower tracks make up one big loop with the Tongariro National Park waterfall sitting in the middle.
Taranaki Falls Upper Track
We recommend to start with the upper Taranaki Falls Track as you’ll be walking towards the Mount Ngauruhoe volcano and jagged peaks of Ruapehu.
Walking through the fields with this incredible nature surrounding you will make you realize why you came to New Zealand in the first place! As one of the best short hikes in Tongariro National Park it will be the perfect introduction to the vast natural wonders of this area.
Arriving at Taranaki Falls
Right in the middle of the upper and lower tracks sits this impressive waterfall! Standing at 65 feet high (20 meters), Taranaki Falls towers over you flowing into the small pool below.
Our favorite part of the Taranaki Falls Track was hiking up the stairs and around waterfall to the top. You can actually walk out onto the rocks at the tip of the waterfall to look down as the water splashes over the side.
Taranaki Falls Lower Track
The lower track is much different than the upper as it’s almost completely enclosed in forest. Enjoy strolling through nature along the river as you take in the endless species of plants in Tongariro National Park New Zealand.
If you’re walking the lower track first be aware that there is a smaller waterfall before Taranaki Falls. It would be a shame turning around here before seeing the bigger waterfall!
More Hikes in Tongariro National Park
There are plenty of long and short hikes in Tongariro National Park to fill your days. The most rewarding trail we did by far was the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, but there are so many others to explore.
It’s best to plan for several days in the park so you can complete other trails or conquer a multi-day hike. Take a look below at some of the other popular hikes nearby to inspire you on your visit to Tongariro National Park in New Zealand.
- Round The Mountain Track: 4-6 Days
- Tongariro Northern Circuit: 3-4 Days
- Tongariro Alpine Crossing: 6-8 Hours
- Mount Ruapehu Crater Climb: 7 Hours
- Tawhai Falls: 20 Minutes
- Whakapapaiti Valley: 4-5 Hours
Where To Stay in the Area
Ultra Luxury – Chateau Tongariro Hotel – The picturesque scene of this historic hotel under the mountains of Tongariro is something out of a dream. The facilities here include indoor pool, spa, 9 hole golf course, and 2 different restaurants to choose from. Also, at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel world class skiing and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing will be right at your doorstep!
Fun Vacation – Skotel Alpine Resort – This unique property is set just steps away from the start of the Taranaki Falls Track. Some rooms have balconies with views, and access to the kitchen and shared lounge area. Skotel Alpine Resort is in the perfect spot to get to all the short hikes in Tongariro National Park!
Hostel Life – LKNZ Lodge – Located just a short drive from the Taranaki Falls Track, this backpackers lodge has both dorms and private rooms available. Enjoy the hot tubs, sauna rooms, and common area for a one of a kind hostel experience near Tongariro National Park.
For more places to stay near Tongariro National Park New Zealand you can explore the latest prices here!
Have any questions about the Taranaki Falls Track or want to share your own tips for visiting Tongariro National Park waterfall? Let us know in the comments below!
Brigitte & Jake
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New Zealand Travel Planning
Jucy Van: The best way to explore New Zealand is with a Jucy camper! We spent over six weeks driving around the North and South Islands in a van and loved every moment.
Rental Car: If you’re not renting a van you’ll need a car to see this country. We use Discover Cars when traveling and enjoy having the freedom to get around.
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide to find activities all over New Zealand! They have everything from tickets to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to a Hobbiton movie set tour, and even a Northland hole in the rock dolphin cruise!
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Travel Tips & Guides: 10 Helpful NZ Travel Tips – North Island Itinerary – South Island Itinerary – 25 Beautiful Beaches – Wellington to Picton Ferry – 15 Freedom Camping Tips – 27 Delicious Food & Drinks
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