Ten minutes drive out of Tauranga City is McLaren Falls Park, 190 hectares of pastoral and horticultural parkland set alongside Lake McLaren.
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.
||7.30am – 7.30pm
||7.30am – 5.30pm
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!
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.
There is also a café by the information centre: Falls Cafe, phone 07 543 4976.
Marshalls Animal Park is accessed through the park and features exotic animals, a must-see for children. Phone 07 543 1099.
Around 300 sheep roam through the grassed areas so dogs are not permitted within McLaren Falls Park.
A ranger is on duty seven days a week at McLaren Falls Park and can be contacted on Tauranga City Council 07 577 7000.
Maximum stay for camping is three nights. Any open grassed area is available for camping except Cherry Bay. Shower facilities are free and available at Pin Oak Flat.
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, locations are available on a first come first serve basis.
The hostel is next to the equestrian area and has a view all the way back to Mauao. It sleeps 16 people and can be booked out for $115.00 per night. For backpacker rates and group bookings please phone Tauranga City Council on 07 577 7000.
All bookings for weddings, events and the hostel are done through the booking office on 07 577 7000 or by email email@example.com.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org ) 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
There 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.
Ilawarra Flame Tree
Lake in Autumn
Lake in Autumn
Falls in full flow
Falls in full flow
Falls in usual flow
Black & White of
Bridge over Falls
Last Reviewed: 22/08/2014