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McLaren wairere ara hīkoi

McLaren Falls walkways

McLaren Falls consists of 190 hectares of lakeland park with one of the best botanical collections of trees in the North Island. The park has extensive walkways.

Mclaren falls

McLaren Falls Park map (1.8mb pdf) McLaren Falls Park brochure (1.5mb pdf)

Walking tracks


Located adjacent to the cafe, a information centre with three toilets, one of which is wheelchair accessible and baby changing area.


Bottom Flat is a popular picnic destination, with a BBQ, water and a picnic table provided. A great area to take the family, kick a ball around, feed the ducks and explore the stream and bridge around the edge. This area is also where kayakers and lake users launch their craft from. This area is also used for events, such as small to medium concerts. No camping is allowed at Bottom Flat. 


One of the most popular spots, Cherry Bay is an easy walk from the main access road. Most commonly photographed in Spring and Autumn the area provides excellent access to a grove of Cherry trees, a bridge extends across the water, providing access to another key picnic area. This area is a popular for wedding ceremonies and family functions. No camping is allowed at Cherry Bay.

Why not try the McLaren Falls Loop Track. Park your vehicle at the Waterfall Track car park and walk to see the waterfall. On your return loop down the glow worm side follow the Nikau Track which will be a steep elevation that will take you to the top paddocks over the Pin Oak Campsite. Once at the top go left and follow the Ponga Grove that will take you mid-way across the park leading you to the Pine Tree Knoll Track. Feel free to take a breather at the top of Pine Tree Knoll and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Once re-energised you can make your way back down the hill and follow the simple Sunrise Track, which will take you to the beautiful Lakeside Track. This will guide you back to Cherry Bay and back to your car! Enjoy a 1hr.15min walk (approximately). Vehicle Speed 15kmph (please watch out for people and wildlife on and around roadways).


A popular walk, the waterfall track extends along both sides of a small stream from the main access road. Waterfall Track is a short loop walk to a small waterfall and platform. It has a great native bush and stream landscape. Glow worms can be found along the Waterfall track. This track takes 20 minutes to walk and is wheelchair accessible. There are also glow-Worms to be seen up the top of the lake, along the lake edge (accessed by canoe/kayak only).


The track starts at the front gate of the park and follows the lake edge to the top of the lake. This track is 2037 metres and takes 45 minutes to walk. It is easy to average - the track is barrier free the entire length. 


This is mainly a link track from Pine Tree Knoll to a lookout seat. This track winds around through a stand of pongas and has a few view shafts across the park, it has no steps and is a good walk for adults and children. This track is 390 metres and takes 7 minutes to walk, easy walk with no steps.


Rotary Grove was established by the Tauranga Rotary Club and provides a formal pergola and viewing platform. Access to the area can be by car, with the viewing platform only a short walk from the car. Pine Tree Knoll track starts at the road by the top flat and winds up to a lookout platform and has a great view back towards Rotary Grove and Lake McLaren. A good walk for most people but there is a section with steps. This track also links to the Ponga Track. This track is 412 metres and takes 8 minutes to walk, and has steps.


The track starts from the road at the intersection of lower Mangapapa sub station road and the road up to the back gate. The track follows a small stream through the bush then climbs up a step stairway to a loop track at the top. You can return by one of two ways. One is down a side track to Lake Mangapapa. Half way down there are two really large Rimu trees and a picnic table, you then follow the road back to the beginning. The second way is just follow the road back to the beginning. This tracks is 979 metres and takes 23 minutes to walk. At the moment there is not directional signage.

The Track is located at the end of the glow work track and can also be accessed via the waterfall track side. It is another link track that has steep steps that lets you climb out of the valley and onto the paddocks above the Pin Oak Campsite. At the top you turn left to link into the Ponga Grove Track

Related information

Information on Walking tracks in the Western Bay of Plenty District

For information on joining a walking group in your area go to City on its Feet.

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