Facilities  »  Parks & Reserves  »  Parks in Your Area  »  McLaren Falls Park Tauranga City Council Logo

McLaren Falls Story Map | Opening Hours | Park Ranger | Dogs | BBQs and Cafe | Fires | Overnight Accommodation | Bringing Your Horse | Trout Fishing

Ten minutes drive out of Tauranga City is McLaren Falls Park, 190 hectares of pastoral and horticultural parkland set alongside Lake McLaren.No firesNo dogs

The park is popular for camping, fishing, kayaking, wedding photos, picnics, bush walks and summertime concerts.  It is also home to one of the best botanical collections of trees in the North Island.

One of the highlights of the park is the Waterfall Track where you can see glow worms after dusk.  Enjoy a short, easy stroll to the picturesque waterfall and spot the glow worms on either side of the track.  Part of the Waterfall Track is also wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly.

Marshalls Animal Park is accessed through the park and features exotic animals, a must-see for children.  Phone 07 543 1099.

McLaren Falls Park Story Map

McLarens Falls Park Story Map

View larger map of Mclaren Falls ParkOpening hours

Winter: 7.30am – 5.30pm - when daylight saving ends

Summer: 7.30am – 7.30pm - when daylight saving starts

Slow vehicle access is available throughout the park for easy access to picnic areas.  Gates open for outgoing vehicles after closing time, so you don’t need to be in a hurry to leave: stay and enjoy the glow worms!

Park Ranger

A ranger is on duty seven days a week at McLaren Falls Park and can be contacted on Tauranga City Council 07 577 7000.


Around 300 sheep roam through the grassed areas so dogs are not permitted within McLaren Falls Park.

BBQs and cafe

There are a small number of gas barbeques located around the park. BBQs are free to use. They are operated by pressing a button on the barbeque.

Located at:

  • Top Flat
  • Bottom Flat
  • Cherry Bay (2 in this area)

There is also a café by the information centre:  Falls Cafe, phone 07 543 4976.


Adults are permitted to bring and drink alcohol responsibly whilst at the park.  No one under the age of 18 can bring or consume alcohol at the park.


No fires are permitted in the park.

HostelOvernight accommodation


The maximum stay for camping is three nights. There are designated areas available for camping, including Top Flat, Hamilton Point and Pin Oak Flat. Shower facilities are free and available at Pin Oak Flat. 

Camping fees

  • 0-5 years - free
  • 5-16 years - $5 per night per person
  • 16+ years - $10 per night per person

Bookings are not required for camping, but are encouraged, and the locations are available on a 'first come first serve basis'. 

Persons aged under 18 years old are not permitted to camp without a responsible parent or guardian present for the duration of their stay.

Book camping online

Cancel a campsite booking

If the date of cancellation is more than 5 days before the arrival date, you are entitled to a refund which is 100% of the fee paid.

If the date of cancellation is 5 days or less before the  arrival date then you will not receive a refund.

Cancel your booking online


This hostel sleeps 16 people on bunks with mattresses within 3 bedrooms.  It has two inside toilets and two showers, plus a lounge/kitchen/dining area.  The kitchen has a sink, 2 fridges, a freezer, microwave, toaster, stove and zip water heater, and is equipped with some cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils, along with cleaning products.  There is also a log burner in the lounge area which you would need to bring your own wood for if you wish to use it.

Group Bookings (per night 3pm to 10am) $115.00*
*If you would like to extend your stay there is a day rate available from 10am until 3pm which is $57.50.

A small paddock is located next to the hostel which can be used for camping if you have a group larger than 16 utilising the hostel as well.  The standard camping rates will apply and will be charged for by invoice prior to your stay.

All bookings for weddings, events and the hostel are done through the booking office on 07 577 7000 or by email mclarenfallsenquiries@tauranga.govt.nz

Holding weddings at McLaren falls

Bringing your horse

When using the equestrian area;

  • If wishing to use the jumps and equestrian area facilities you must contact Susan Woodcock from the Tauranga Pony Club (klsjw95@outlook.com ) who can advise of availability and any associated costs with using the Pony Club equipment
  • Be mindful that the Equestrian Area is still open to the public and be aware of people walking through the area at all times - this also included people accessing the hostel which may be a different group to the users of the Equestrian Area
  • Wash down the horse bay within the Equestrian Area after your use of it
  • If you wish to erect any temporary structures in this area please discuss with the Parks Booking Coordinator prior to your booking start date.

When riding through the park;

  • Keep horses under control at all times
  • Do not ride on the walking tracks through the park
  • Close gates behind you
  • A slow canter is the maximum speed when riding through the park
  • Clean up the park after your ride if your horse has left any presents
  • If you wish to unload your horse within the park please use either the Equestrian area or Pin Oak Flat
  • Do not ride through the front of the park, any further north than the start of Cherry Bay

Trout fishing

Falls WalkThere is year-round fishing in Lake McLaren and in the Ruahihi Canal.  You are required to have a fishing licence. You can buy a day licence from Marshalls Animal Park or participating sports shops.  Season licences expire 30 September each year.

Tracks and Walks

History of McLaren Falls Park

Click on the pictures below to enlarge.


Illawara Flame tree

Ilawarra Flame Tree
Jan 2007 

Lake in Autum april 2002

Lake in Autumn
April 2002

Lake in Autumn March 2003

Lake in Autumn
March 2003

Falls in full flow March 2007

Falls in full flow
March 2007

Falls in full flow march 2007

Falls in full flow
March 2007

Falls in usual flow 2003

Falls in usual flow

Red trees in the park.

July 2006


A winter day.

Winter Day
Courtesy of
Sharon Carter

Black and White of Bridge over Falls

Black & White of
Bridge over Falls


 Wairoa River & McLaren Falls

On and around the Wairoa river near Tauranga, Trustpower’s Kaimai Hydroelectric Power Scheme opens up a superb recreational area, popular for kayaking, rafting, fishing, running and picnicking. To provide great white water for recreational kayakers and rafters, we regularly release water from McLaren Falls dam.

Dates for releasing recreational flow:

On the following dates, a flow of 15 cumecs is due to be released, between 10.00am to 4.00pm.



Saturday 18 February

Sunday 19 February

Sunday 26 February 

Sunday 5 March 

Sunday 12 March 

Sunday 19 March 

Sunday 26 March 

Sunday 9 April 

Sunday 23 April 

Last Reviewed: 24/04/2017