Mokau Falls

Te Urewera National Park, Hawke's Bay Region (North Island), New Zealand

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 1
Mokau Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Mokau Falls was probably the most impressive waterfall of the ones that Julie and I encountered during our drive through Te Urewera National Park between Rotorua and Wairoa. This waterfall was said to be 37m tall, but it featured an attractive trapezoidal shape drawfing the road bridge that ran across the Mokau Stream above it (giving us a sense of scale of the size of this falls). Our pre-trip research had us on the lookout for this waterfall so we made it a point to look for pullouts while being cautious not to zoom by and miss it (though that was probably hard to do since the road through Te Urewera National Park was pretty slow going as it was almost entirely unsealed).

Indeed, this waterfall had a fairly obvious lookout (though I didn't recall that it was signed during our visit in November 2004), which produced the view you see at the top of this page. After having our fill of this top down vantage point, we then continued driving towards the bridge above the falls, where we then looked back across the gorge to see the more obscure Tauwhare Falls (pronounced "TAU-far-eh"). We weren't sure if this other 41m waterfall would have much longevity given how thin and hidden it was amongst the bush despite the aid of rains just prior to our visit.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Before Mokau Falls, the bush scenery dominating Te Urewera National Park started to change a bit as the remote Lake Waikaremoana started revealing itself to usBefore Mokau Falls, the bush scenery dominating Te Urewera National Park started to change a bit as the remote Lake Waikaremoana started revealing itself to us
Looking back in the direction of the lookout from the bridge above Mokau Falls, we got this look at the obscure Tauwhare FallsLooking back in the direction of the lookout from the bridge above Mokau Falls, we got this look at the obscure Tauwhare Falls
Further to the south of Mokau Falls and beyond the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre, we found ourselves driving along the shores of Lake Waikaremoana near Papakorito FallsFurther to the south of Mokau Falls and beyond the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre, we found ourselves driving along the shores of Lake Waikaremoana near Papakorito Falls
Along the way to Mokau Falls, we also ran across this signpost tipping us off to Totarapapa FallsAlong the way to the falls, we also ran across this signpost tipping us off to Totarapapa Falls.

This was the unsealed road we had driven on for a few hours just to even get close to Mokau FallsThis was the unsealed road we had driven on for a few hours just to even get close to the falls

More focused look at the impressive Mokau FallsMore focused look at the impressive Mokau Falls

Looking back across the gorge towards Tauwhare Falls from the top of Mokau FallsLooking back across the gorge towards Tauwhare Falls

Continuing on the unsealed road through Te Urewera National Park and along the eastern shore of Lake Waikaremoana as we slowly made our way towards WairoaContinuing on the unsealed road through Te Urewera National Park and along the eastern shore of Lake Waikaremoana as we slowly made our way towards Wairoa


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS




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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

From the SH5/SH30A junction in the centre of Rotorua, we headed south on the SH5 for about 25km to its junction with SH38. We then kept left to continue on SH38, which ultimately became unsealed after passing through the town of Murupara. After around 114km on SH38 (or 37km past Totarapapa Falls), that was when we found the pullout for the best view of Mokau Falls.

Going in the other direction, the falls was about 75km northwest of the SH38 junction with Tiniroto Rd just north of Wairoa.

Wairoa was about 90 minutes drive northeast of the Art Deco town of Napier or over 3 hours drive southeast of Taupo. Taupo was a little over an hour drive south of Rotorua.

For some additional context, Rotorua was about 3 hours drive southeast of Auckland or just about 90 minutes drive east of Hamilton.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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