Drama in the bush

Tarawera Falls erupts from holes in the rock 35-metres up a cliff-face. It’s a truly weird and wonderful sight, best seen from below the falls.

Originally called Te Tatau a Hape (the doorway of Hape) the falls are the result of an eruption of Mt Tarawera 11,000 years ago that left a web of hollow underground tunnels which draw water from
several streams on top of the cliff. The points where the streams submerge into the ground are dramatic, ranging from foamy water crashing into rocky crevices to whirlpools in the rivers.

The bottom of the falls can be reached by a 20-minute walk through forest that is relatively young, as much of it was devastated by the more recent Mt Tarawera eruption, the same event that destroyed the world-famous Pink and White Terraces.

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