McLaren Falls Park in Tauranga – Day 317
Amazing walks and waterfalls in Tauranga!
Today we are checking out the ultimate Tauranga day trip: McLaren Falls Park! If you like this video and want more NZ bucket list inspiration, then head on over to the BackpackerGuide.NZ YouTube Channel!
Today we’re taking the classic Tauranga Road Trip to McLaren Falls Park.
Today we are taking the 20 minute drive from Mt Maunganui which is where we’re staying right now in Tauranga, toward the McLaren Falls Park. There is heaps to do right here.
At the entrance to McLaren Falls Park is McLaren Falls itself which just isn’t one waterfall it’s several different waterfalls cascading down this huge boulder-like river it’s a super impressive sight.
The McLaren Falls are quite a sight they spin from the Wairoa River and in summer they are a hot spot and you can definitely tell why. Despite the fact that there are fences everywhere there are heaps of people that go for a little bit of a bathing when the sun is scorching hot. The dam over the Wairoa River is actually released 26 times a year making it an amazing spot for white water rafting sadly we are not coming at the right tim ein this area so it will have to wait. Moving on there is much more to do in Mclaren falls park including the local bird inhabitants and checking out the map to know where we’re going next.
At the McLaren Falls information centre we see all the different things there are to do in the area including loads of different hikes but first we’re hungry and we find the perfect picnic spot which is at a place called Cherry Bay.
Cherry Bay isn’t exactly a bay but more like a picnic area alongside a very lovely stream it’s also said to be the most photogenic part of the area especially in spring and autumn since it’s surrounded by cherry trees and just looks amazing in photos.
Picnicking is the perfect park activity and there’s actually a barbecue here as well which people are free to use. If only we knew that sooner and wouldn’t have brought our sandwiches anyway Robin is getting restless jumping over the stream so it’s time for us to go stretch our legs and do one of the awesome walks of the area.
Now funnily enough the track we decide to do is called the Waterfall Track. And guess what, at the end of this track there is a waterfall just if there wasn’t enough waterfalls in McLaren Falls Park and in New Zealand in general.
But to be fair, who’s complaining, waterfalls are absolutely awesome. This track is actually really short it’s about 20 minutes loop track that means that we’re gonna be making our way in a loop and getting back to where we arrived so we’re gonna see plenty of different stuff along the way. It’s a really thick New Zealand forest which I really love with towering trees which looks really fantastic in afternoon when the sunlight is casting all those shadows all over the forest.
But because we’ve been promised a waterfall Laura is looking everywhere for it. She wants to find it first.
There’s the waterfall. Haha.
It’s also said that the waterfall track is a really good place to come at night so you can see glowworms which is pretty awesome but obviously we don’t see any glowworms here but we do see an epic waterfall once we reach the halfway point of this track.
The waterfall is a pretty simple yet stunning waterfall dropping in just one long drop through the forest. There’s various different viewpoints to get different photo opportunities from a higher one and one from the ground and we take every single opportunity to get as many awesome photos as possible.
The waterfall looks absolutely stunning surrounded by lush vibrant green native New Zealand forest it is the perfect picture opportunity.
Look at that waterfall over there. Isn’t it amazing!
It’s only like a few minutes walk. It’s so cool.
The waterfall track then continues on the opposite side of the stream completing the loop track and the waterfall track isn’t the only track as mentioned. In McLaren Falls park there’s also the Lakeside Track which takes about 45 minutes along the beautiful Lake McLaren, there’s also the Rimu Totara Track which is about 25 minutes walk through lush native forest, and then there’s the Ponga Track which is only a 10 minute walk up to an amazing lookout overlooking the falls.
But the trees on this walk are pretty crazy looking.
Look at that Laura!
McLaren Falls Park is definitely the ultimate day trip if you’re based in the Tauranga or Mt Maunganui area. And we’re actually staying in the Pacific Coast Lodge in Mt Maunganui which is an awesome hostel and a great base for your stay in the Tauranga area. In fact, that’s where we’re heading to now, we’re heading back to the car and back to Mt Maunganui.
Tomorrow, we are hopping back onto a kayak but this time not on the sea, not on the river, on the lake and under the glowworms. See you tomorrow!