The second of our walks for Easter Weekend 2010 was to Taranaki Falls.
I have no idea why its called this when its hours away from Taranaki but anyway, just so were clear this is actually in Tongariro National Park and begins just behind the Chateau at Whakapapa.
Brilliant Walk, I would do this one again in a heartbeat - it says it takes two hours, it took us about that long including all the stopping we did and we did that quiet a bit!
I plan to go back and do this one when there is some snow on the mountain, perhaps after the ski season because I think it would look amazing as you can see all three mountains - Mt Ruapheu, Ngarahoe & Tongariro - apparently on a clear day you can also see Mt Taranaki in the distance - it wasn’t that clear when we were there so we didn’t see it - maybe this can be my excuse to go back?!
To start this walk head to Whakapapa then when you reach the Chateau turn down the street to the left just behind the Chateau continue down this until you get to the end, this is the carpark and you can start the walk from here.
The track is actually a loop track so you can choose which way you walk, we decided to start right where the carpark ends rather than just below the carpark and I think it was a good choice as we didn’t have too many hard uphill parts whereas I think it would have been a little harder the other way.
You can also start a number of other walks from here at the same time as seeing the falls, you can go to Mangatepopo Hut (3-5 hours depending on the weather - from 30 mins into the track - if starting from the lower end of the carpark), you can also do a the tramps to Upper & Lower Tama Lakes & another walk which is about 4.5 hours from the falls - I forget the name of it and a quick search isn’t bringing much up.
This track is harder than the Spa Road one, you walk on small rocks alot of the time and sometimes larger rocks - ok for the older children, young children will be ok if your prepared to take your time - no strollers here though the steps would be a pain in the butt!