Mclaren Falls Park
A Family Favourite in New Zealand
A Family Favourite in New Zealand
McLaren Falls Park is one of Tauranga’s most treasured spots. A 190 hectre parkland situated alongside Lake McLaren. A wonderfully popular place where people can simply relax and enjoy themselves. Here at McLaren Falls you are able to camp, kayak, go fishing, swimming, have a picnic or treat yourself to one of the many walking tracks.
One track in particular, offers a delightful experience. The Waterfall Track, where you can spot the glow worms at night sparking wonder and excitement. Just head along to the Waterfall Track after dusk to not only see the pretty waterfalls but to spot the glow worms.
The glow worms are also capable of been seen by kayak. If you wish to see glow worms this way, there is a cave accessible by kayak during the night for a different experience with glow worms. It is easy to find a car park as there are many, but only some are suitable nearby to load and unload your kayaks.
The park is popular all year round, but autumnal colours make it particularly appealing during the season of autumn. Many come to admire the natural beauty and often take wedding photos here.
Visitors can explore the 190-hectare parkland, which features a tranquil lake and exotic trees. There are picnic areas, equestrian facilities, and push-button gas barbecues. The lake is a popular destination.
The park also features year-round trout fishing in Lake McLaren and the Ruahihi Canal.
Camping is available for a maximum stay of three nights. All the grassed area is available to campers except Cherry Bay. Camping at McLaren Falls is based on first in first serve.
With so many things to do, people often find themselves coming back and exploring more and more. Bush walks and the waterfall track are common favourites to return back and give a go. One other nearby attraction is Marshalls Animal Farm. It is a small animal park where people can visit. The only other park that comes close to the size of this one is Memorial Park.
The falls are absolutely beautiful during the day and make for a wonderful photo location during the evening. There are also events held in the park every year, including summer concerts. If you’re considering a visit to Tauranga, don’t miss out on McLaren Falls Park. Great easy vehicle access is available throughout the park.
Please remember, dogs are not permitted within the park.
This map has come from the Tauranga City Council.
Location: In the North Island of New Zealand, off State Highway 29. An easy 20 minute drive or so from Tauranga. Animal park is within the park.
Vehicle Access: Vehicle access is available throughout the park for easy access to picnic areas. Gates do open for vehicles who are looking to leave after closing time, so don’t worry about being locked in!
Walking tracks: All walking tracks throughout McLaren Falls Park can be found by clicking here (McLaren Falls map of park) or on image of map above. Some walks do allow for exploration via mobility scooter or wheelchair.
Camping: The maximum stay for camping is three nights. The park has designated areas available: Top Flat, Hamilton Point and Pin Oak Flat. Shower facilities are free and available at Pin Oak Flat.
Entry to the park is free.
Camping Prices: 0-5: Free | 5-17: $10.00 per night | 18+: $20.00
Showers (Time Limited): Free
Opening Hours: Summer: 7.30am – 7.30pm / Winter: 7.30am – 5.30pm
Trout Fishing at McLaren Falls: Year-round fishing is available in Lake McLaren and in the Ruahihi Canal. A fishing licence is a requirement prior to trout fishing. Some sports shops do sell day licences or you can purchase online through Fish and Game New Zealand. Licences are not available to purchase from McLaren Falls Park.
Wairoa River and Mclaren Falls: Situated on the Wairoa river near Tauranga, power company Trustpower, runs the Kaimai Hydroelectric Power Scheme. This includes an awesome recreational area, popular for kayaking, rafting, fishing, running and picnicking. Water is regularly released from the McLaren Falls dam during the warmer months. This also allows for great white water for recreational kayakers and rafters.
For the time and dates of releasing of water from the dam visit here.
Dogs: Throughout the park, around 300 sheep wander freely. Therefore, dogs are not permitted within McLaren Falls Park.
Alcohol: Alcohol is permitted within the park. 18+ only.
Fires: Fires are not permitted throughout the park.
BBQs: Push button gas barbeques are found throughout the park. These locations are: Top Flat, Bottom Flat and two in Cherry Bay.
Cafe: Located near the information centre, phone 07 543 4976.
Park Ranger: The McLaren Falls Park Ranger is on duty seven days a week. The ranger can be contacted by calling the Tauranga City Council.
Bringing your horse: If you wish to bring your horse to the park, you can. Within the park there is an equestrian area available for use with horses. The rest of the park is not to be used when riding your horse.
If you are looking to use the equestrian facilities and accessories, contact Susan Woodcock at the Tauranga Pony Club. Susan can advise availability and costs. It is also important to be aware that the equestrian area is still open to the public.
Located at the back of the park is a designated area for the loading and unloading of horses at Blooming Acres.
Disc Golf Course at McLaren Falls:
The 18-basket disc golf course at McLaren Falls is now well known as been one of the most spectacular courses in the country. Simply follow the signs from the front gate to the beginning of the course at Pin Oak Flats.