McLaren Falls Park is 190 hectares of parkland set alongside Lake McLaren and is just ten minutes by car from Tauranga.
The park is popular for camping, fishing, kayaking, disc golf course, wedding photos, picnics, bush walks and summertime concerts. It is also home to one of the best botanical collections of trees in New Zealand.
The park ranger | Park information and facilities | Accommodation and bookings | Weddings and events
Bringing your horse | Trout fishing | Wairoa River and McLaren Falls | Disc golf course | Fees
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.
History of McLarens Falls Park (60kb pdf)
The McLaren Falls Park Ranger is on duty seven days a week and can be contacted by calling Council.
McLaren falls map (2.4mb pdf) McLaren Falls Park brochure (3.4mb pdf)
Park information and facilities
||Summer: 7.30am – 7.30pm - when daylight saving starts
Winter: 7.30am – 5.30pm - when daylight saving ends
||Around 300 sheep roam through the grassed areas so dogs are not permitted within McLaren Falls Park.
Dogs are also not permitted to be left unattended in vehicles.
||Adults can bring and drink alcohol responsibly while at the park. People under the age of 18 are not to bring or consume alcohol at the park.
||Electric barbeques are located at around the park at Top Flat, Bottom Flat, Pin Oak Flat, two in Cherry Bay and Hamilton Point
|Marshalls Animal Park
||Accessed through the park and featuring domestic and exotic animals, a must-see for children. Phone 07 543 1099.
||Located by the information centre, phone 07 543 4976.
||Mclarens Falls parks walkways
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!
Accommodation and bookings
Camping, caravans and campervans
Over the winter months, we will be completing routine maintenance on our campsites. Refer to the information board at our Visitor Centre or call 07 577 7000 and ask to speak to a park ranger.
Book a campsite online
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.
- 0-5 years old - free
- 5-16 years old - $5 per night per person
- 17+ years old - $15 per night per person
Bookings are not required for camping, but are encouraged, and the locations are available on a 'first come, first served basis'.
People under 18 years old can't camp without a responsible parent or guardian present for the duration of their stay.
Payment is non-refundable. Please ensure that you are booking the correct dates.
Please note that park entry closes at 7:30pm in summer and at 5.30pm in winter. Campers must arrive before this time, even if they already have a booking.
McLaren Falls hostel
Make a hostel booking request
Check hostel availability (available dates are shown in white on the calendar)
You can book the 10-bunk hostel for $200 per night (3pm to 10am). You can extend your stay from 10am to 3pm for an additional $70.00. You cannot book the bunks individually.
- three bedrooms providing a total of 10 bunk beds
- two inside toilets and showers
- lounge/kitchen/dining area
- kitchen with two fridges, a freezer, microwave, toaster, stove and zip water heater, some cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils and cleaning products
- heat pump
- outside fire pit (need to supply your own wood).
There is a small paddock next to the hostel which can be used for camping if you have a group larger than 10 utilising the hostel as well. The standard camping rates will apply and will be charged prior to your stay.
Weddings and events
At McLaren Falls we have three great locations for your wedding ceremony. They can each accommodate varying amounts of people.
Please select your location carefully based on how many guests you have attending. The maximum number we can accommodate is 75 people at Bottom Flat.
- Bottom Flat - up to 75 people
- Cherry Bay - up to 40 people
- Rotary Grove - up to 45 people
Further information about holding weddings at council reserves can be found at Using our parks - weddings.
Bringing your horse
In the park there is an equestrian area available for use. Horses are not to be ridden throughout the rest of the park.
If you want to use the jumps and equestrian area facilities, contact Susan Woodcock at the Tauranga Pony Club, who can advise availability and costs. Please be mindful that the equestrian area is still open to the public.
All horses must be unloaded and loaded in the designated equestrian park at Blooming Acres, located at the back of the park.
If you want to erect any temporary structures in the equestrian area please discuss with the parks booking coordinator prior to your booking start date.
McLaren Falls Park disc golf course
Our 18-basket disc golf course is among the most spectacular in the country. Follow the signs from the front gate to the start of the course at Pin Oak Flats.
View the disc golf course map (5mb pdf)
Should you have any enquires regarding the course please contact Darryl Switalla on 021 031 4117.
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 licence online from Fish and Game New Zealand or from participating sports shops. Season licences expire 30 September each year.
Wairoa River and McLaren Falls
On the Wairoa river near Tauranga, Trustpower runs the Kaimai Hydroelectric Power Scheme this includes 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 during warm months.
Mclaren falls booking fees
Last Reviewed: 25/08/2020