Papakorito Falls was the last of the waterfalls that we saw while making the long drive through Te Urewera National Park between Rotorua and Wairoa. This particular waterfall was attractively wide with about a 20m rounded drop, and the two-minute walk to get right across its plunge pool also made it very easily accessible. By the time we showed up to this waterfall, the skies had finally started clearing up so the falls was made brighter by the shining sun while contrasting the suddenly blue skies. Indeed, we thought this was one of the more photogenic waterfalls that we encountered while touring the nearly pristine scenic reserve.
This falls was also on the Aniwaniwa River though it was much further upstream from the trio of waterfalls collectively known as the Aniwaniwa Falls. Even though one could extend the waterfall walks from the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre to this waterfall, it was far easier to just drive the spur road to get here. While the falls was visible from the car park, it was certainly worth the short walk to get the closer look you see pictured above.
Papakorito Falls was very close to the Aniwaniwa Visitor Centre, which was the starting point for the Aniwaniwa Falls. Please see that page for specific directions to get to the visitor centre.
From there, we then took the Aniwaniwa Rd, which branched off SH38 to the east from right across the visitor centre. We drove road to its end in less than 2km where we then did the short walk to get closer to the falls.
The Aniwaniwa Visitor Center was about 90 minutes drive north of Wairoa along SH38. Coming from Rotorua, it’s a pretty bumpy and slow 3 hour drive along a combination of SH5 and SH38 (the latter was mostly unsealed). For further context, Rotorua was about 3 hours drive southeast of Auckland or just about 90 minutes drive east of Hamilton. Meanwhile, 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.
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