Tupapakurua Falls Lookout
Tupapakurua Falls Lookout
4.5
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More than 3 hours
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4.5
15 reviews
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peterrM6374WL
Auckland Central, New Zealand170 contributions
Solo
An amazing piece of old growth forest. Nicely maintained track. 4 hours return from national park village.
Lots of native birds ….some not so native
Written 22 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Allgoodthyngs
Shrewsbury, UK1,702 contributions
Couples
We did the first part of the track which took about half an hour with stops to look at plants and trees , we arrived at the Taranaki Lookout wiich gave great views towards Mt Taranaki, and also back at Mt Ruapehu and Hauhungatahi.

However..... the rain got heavy, we waited to see if it would blow over but it persisted in persisting and we had to give up as the track got very slippery in places. Seemed a long way back to the car but only because by now we were wet and the wind was blowing hard!

Be prepared, take every thing with you and wear good footwear. Couldn't take any photos as the rain was too heavy!

Hope you get a better day
Written 19 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lindsay B
Rotorua, New Zealand57 contributions
Couples
We started off thinking this was going to be easy. It took about 2 hours but there is quite a lot of uphill on the way back and I was pretty buggered at the end. Stunning walk though through podocarp forest that was nicely varied and the falls were lovely.

Do it, but it would be more fun if you were slightly fit.
Written 29 January 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MariavdK
Tauranga, New Zealand51 contributions
Friends
A lovely walk through some lovely forest, quite a few steps so not easy for pushchairs and the like. Recommended though.
Written 18 December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

archike
Worthing, UK42 contributions
Couples
This was an interesting walk with different scenery including walking along a gorge, across a plateau and viewing the falls from above and below. The trail to it was very well maintained gravel. However, there were quite a few steps, so not suitable for people with reduced mobility. Took us about 3 hours to complete the walk but we stopped to take lots of photos
Written 5 December 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lizzy M
Inverness, UK13 contributions
Solo
The walk through the rainforest is stunning. I did the round trip down to the waterfall and back to the village in 3.5hrs, probably a quicker then average pace, but very doable. Just remember what goes down has to come back up, the majority of the walk in to the waterfall is steep down hill.
This walk is really exciting and at points feels a bit like an obstacle course having to circumnavigate a felled tree and do-it-yourself river crossings.
I was quite bored on the walk up the road to the start of the track and numerous times thought about turning back and not bothering, but then I got on the forest track and glad I didn't.
Definitely the best and most fun part of the walk is the bit from the Falls lookout to the falls itself, just beware of the slipperiness and missing places to put your feet, there is always helpful trees to assist.
Written 11 November 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lorraine S
Whangaparaoa, New Zealand8 contributions
After doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing this was a beautiful peaceful hike and it was wonderful listening to the bird song.
Written 1 November 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Delicjaaa
171 contributions
Friends
Really good hike, not to easy but not extreme. I wouldn't say the markings are great but it's easy enough to navigate. If you're thinking of going by yourself - make sure you let sombody know of your plan. Waterfall is beautiful and worth it ;)
Written 14 September 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Simon O
National Park Village, New Zealand65 contributions
Solo
This morning, I had big plans to clean up, do vacuuming and other such boring stuff…the sun streaming in, though, was too much of a temptation and I went off on another wander…this time, a little closer to home, Tupapakurua Falls just up the road in National Park Village…

There is a good, albeit slightly out of date, description of the route on the Taupo Tramping Club site, and also a good summary in the latest version of the DOC Walks in and Around Tongariro National Park (page 24). The track is pretty well-marked and does not pose any great navigational challenges so longs as normal common sense is applied, especially on the leg down to the base of the Falls.

The track starts in National Park Village. Cross the railway tracks – the BUSY railway tracks so take appropriate care – and follow the road round to the left, taking the first right down Fishers Road where after a couple of kilometres, you come to the start of the trail proper. Yes, you could just drive here but it’s a nice walk along the road and you wouldn’t want to drive only to find that the freedom campers have taken up all the parking.

Along the sides of the trail, you’ll occasionally see traps for rats and stoats. Unless you are part of the community trapping programme, leave them alone…

The track is well-marked and very easy to follow; the gradients are all quite gentle and after twenty minutes, I got to the Taranaki Lookout with Mt Taranaki clearly visible on the coast about 120km away.

From the Taranaki Lookout to the Tupapakurua Falls lookout is about an hour of easy walking. The track is not quite so well-defined, marked or developed and there are a few roots and other potential hazards for the carelessly-placed foot. The climbs are a little less gentle but still doable for walkers with average health and fitness: just take care where you are placing your feet. This is original New Zealand rain forest that does not get a lot of sun through the canopy – the sort of environment over which Von Tempsky pursued Tītokowaru – smooth surfaces, wood and rock, can be slick and slippery: there is no cell coverage here and even satellite access can be dodgy at the bottoms of the canyons: if you are on your own you may have a long wait for assistance if you have a whoopsy.

The Taupo Tramping Club notes recommend pushing a few minutes south-west of the lookout to the end of the ridge for a better view of the Falls and the valley. I really recommend doing this as the views are much better. Not mentioned in the notes is the more-recently developed track down to the base of the Falls. I almost gave this a miss as my destination for the day had been the Falls lookout but it was still morning, still sunny and I had come all this way…I’m glad I did as it was the highlight of my walk!!

The track down to the base of the Falls is marked with the standard blue poles and orange arrows. It is not nearly as well-marked as the track to the lookout and walkers really need to be able to see the next marker before stepping off: there are many animal and hunting trails here as well and it is so very easy to follow what you think is the trail and find yourself geographically-embarrassed with no clue as to how to get back onto the actual trail…

Having said that, I found myself at the base of the Falls after a descent of around 15-20 minutes. The sun only gets into the valley later in the afternoon and it was not at all warm down in the base of canyon, plus the Falls throw up a fine mist that further drops the temperature: definitely NOT the spot for lunch..(or a swim!!)! But the view is very much worth the extra walk and really made my impulsive activity worth the undone housework…

The climb back up to the lookout was not as arduous as I thought it might be on the way down BUT you do have to take care that you are actually on the trail as I found a couple of times

I still wasn’t that hungry when I got back up to the Falls lookout so pushed on back to the Taranaki lookout. I still wasn’t that hungry but felt I should eat something since I had carried it all this way: lunch was my standard walking lunch of a bannofee smoothie – tastes a lot more bananary with fresh bananas – and a couple of Jen Rice’s chewy spicy apple cookies – I always carry more but, as advertised, two is enough for a quick meal on the go.

From the lookout back to Fisher’s Road was only about ten minutes. Walking back down the road, I was welcomed back by a spectacular view of Mt Ruapehu through the trees…
Written 29 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Eric W
Willunga, Australia233 contributions
Did this a while ago and just catching up on a few reviews. Doing this walk in winter (I've done many times in summer) is a real must - the scenery is truly magnificent. The air feels fresh, the snow against the blue sky looks amazing, and the walk to the waterfall is relaxing. The waterfalls themselves are a great site, well worth the effort.
Written 17 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Tupapakurua Falls Lookout (National Park Village) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go