Tupapakurua Falls Track – National Park Village
Allow 2.5 hours return walk from the National Park Village
Tupapakurua Falls Lookout
Allow 4 to 5 hours return walk from National Park Village
National Park Village (825m) to start of Tupapakurua Falls Track
30 minutes - 2.2 km: Cross the railway track at the end of Carroll Street and turn right on to Fisher Road (signposted). Follow Fisher Road which is an old logging road which is now part of the Mountains to Sea cycle trail and a section of the Te Araroa Trail to the start of the Tupapakurua Falls Track (signposted).
Fisher Road to Taranaki Lookout
20 minutes - 1 km: Can be walked in trainers. Easy going on graded track. Occasional formed steps. Native bush with some large trees. Many ferns, lichens and mosses. Also bracket fungus on some trees. Native birds. Typical of New Zealand rain forest.
Taranaki Lookout (879m)
Views out to towards Mount Taranaki (120 km) from the viewing area. Spectacular sunsets. View to Mount Ruapehu on the loop track at the Taranaki Lookout.
Taranaki Lookout to start of Steep Descent
30 minutes: Firm walking shoes or boots recommended from here. Suitable for experienced walkers only. Narrow bush track through the forest with tree roots with various gradients & changes in direction until you reach an opening with a large Maire tree amongst umbrella fern and a view out to the left. You can just see the top of Mount Ruapehu from here.
Start of Steep Descent to Stream
10 minutes: The track zig-zags steeply at the end of the spur through umbrella fern & trees with a series of steps to an upper tributary of the Tupapakurua Stream where you cross on a small log jam adjacent to a stream junction.
Stream to Tupapakurua Falls Lookout (715m)
20 minutes: The track climbs from the stream into Tawa forest to cross a tiny creek. It then sidles and descends to cross a small creek and then sidles above the canyon now emerging on your right. A short descent follows to cross a steep sided creek with small steps cut in the sandstone rock. You quickly emerge to a viewing spot with a first view of the Tupapakurua Falls, a small waterfall dropping 50 metres. Care is needed, as you are perched just above the abutment, which drops into the valley below. Proceed past an old campsite (green polythene) to come out on the edge of an old slip. Great views to the west and back to the Falls. The promontory is undercut at the leading edge. Care is needed to avoid becoming airborne !
Promontory to base of the Tupapakurua Falls (650m)
20 minutes: Follow orange triangle track markers. A narrow goat track takes you from the promontory across the top of the old slip & then turns sharp right to descend the old slip into the bush. There is a steep section before passing through a glade of tree ferns and then drop down to the Tupapakurua Stream. Either cross the stream after jumping a side creek and walk up through the forest on a moss carpet to emerge at the base of the falls or carry on without crossing the stream for a short distance to view the falls.