Experience the famous cultural setting of the stunning Okere Falls. Walk the track, or for the more adventurous, kayak or raft down the white water.

Okere Falls

A short drive from Rotorua along the Kaituna River, among the enchanting emerald of New Zealand native forest, is the Okere Falls Scenic Reserve. The reserve is home to a number of small to medium sized waterfalls, spectacular for their rich, deep forest green colour and their magical settings among fairytale ferns. These beautiful, jewel-clear waterfalls can be seen along the Okere Falls Track, a well-formed track dotted with informative panels describing the natural and human environment of Okere Falls and the Kaituna River.

The Trout Pool is situated in the Okere Scenic Reserve on the Kaituna River and is a spectacular and popular fishing spot. Though trout is not the only popular food source on this remarkably lovely river whose name in Maori translates to Kai "food" tuna "eels". Below many of the waterfalls are deep eel holes and the river is a significant part of local Maori history as a plentiful provider of food and as a sanctuary for the women and children.

Many wars were fought on the banks of the Kaituna River and the waterfalls of the reserve hide caves where women and children were hidden from invading tribes. These caves now only shelter millions of glow worms and in this enchanting setting it is easy to imagine that they are the lingering prayers to the gods of the women and children who once cowered here, awaiting their fate.

The Okere Falls is a popular kayaking and rafting location and from the main lookout platform by Hinemoa's steps, visitors may watch rafters and kayakers sweep over the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. Beware though, kayaking the Okere Falls is not for beginners! There are rafting companies a plenty to take you on a thrilling journey down the river, over the falls and into your memories as a one in a lifetime experience!

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