Wairere Falls

Bay of Plenty

Tumbling down the cliffs immediately behind town, tall, skinny Te Wairere occupies a deliciously damp nook. It once powered flax and flour mills, and it supplied Whakatāne’s drinking water until 1924. It's a gorgeous spot, and goes almost completely unheralded – in any other country there'd be a ticket booth, interpretive audiovisual displays and an ice-cream van!

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Bay of Plenty attractions

1. Te Pāpaka & Puketapu

0.11 MILES

On the clifftops behind the town are a pair of ancient Ngāti Awa pā (fortified village) sites – Te Pāpaka (The Crab) and Puketapu (Sacred Hill) – both of…

2. Mataatua

0.17 MILES

Mataatua is a large, fantastically carved 1875 wharenui (meeting house) that is the centrepiece of Te Mānuka Tūtahi marae (traditional meeting place). A…

3. Pōhaturoa

0.25 MILES

Beside a roundabout on The Strand is Pōhaturoa, a large tapu (sacred) rock outcrop capped with pohutukawa trees, where birth, death, war and moko (tattoo)…

4. Whakatāne Observatory

0.35 MILES

On a hilltop behind town, this observatory offers abundant Bay of Plenty star-spotting when the sky is clear.

5. Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi

0.37 MILES

Attached to the library, this impressive museum and gallery has artfully presented displays on early Māori and European settlement in the area. A gourd on…

6. Muriwai’s Cave

0.49 MILES

This shallow, partially collapsed cave once extended 122m into the hillside and was the home of Muriwai, a famous seer and sister of Toroa, captain of the…

7. Lady on the Rock


A whimsical 1965 statue of local heroine Wairaka stands proudly atop a rock on the mouth of the Whakatāne River.

8. Awakeri Hot Springs

8.48 MILES

About 16km from Whakatane on the road to Rotorua (SH30), this old-fashioned holiday park has a large thermal mineral pool, two smaller children's pools…