Omanawa Falls in Tauranga
What was once easily accessible, the track to Omanawa Falls is now closed. For now. This is due to safety reasons according to the local Council. However, the council is seeking funding to improve and develop this park over the coming years.
The Tauranga City Council, Ngāti Hangarau and Tourism Bay of Plenty are working together to restore the falls. The funding from the Department of Conservation is intended to improve public safety and provide cultural and environmental benefits.
The project will also include a walking track, viewing platforms and interpretive panels that showcase the waterfall’s history and landscape. The walking track will be safe and will be accessible for visitors of all ages. DOC has categorized the track as Easy Tramping.
The Omanawa River, a major tributary of the Wairoa River, flows through a 122m-long gorge. The waterfall drops thirty-five metres through a large, deep pool, hollowing out a huge cavern. Omanawa Falls Power Station is powered by water diverted around the waterfalls. Although the waterfalls are not currently open to the public, the power station is operated with the water diverted around the waterfalls.
The Omanawa Falls hydro-electric power station is an iconic feature of the Omanawa Valley. A new power station has been under construction for nearly a century, with no electricity for years. The town’s first power plant installed in 1915 has a capacity of approximately 150 kilowatts. The water power station has a kaitiaki, or traditional chief. It has also been the site of several deaths and is considered a significant historical site.
Despite its stunning natural beauty, the Omanawa Falls is not a tourist destination. The Tauranga City Council owns the reserve, which is currently closed for public safety. However, the project team has been working with tourism Bay of Plenty to explore all of the potential benefits of the project. Its development has already been notified with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Western and Eastern District Councils.
The Omanawa Falls Development Project is a major landmark in the town’s history. The work to restore and make this all accessible once again will begin this year, 2022.
Omanawa Falls features an absolutely stunning 35m high waterfall, which many of the visitors tend to call one of New Zealand’s most beautiful. At the base of this fall is a gorgeous swimming hole. All surrounded by lush green bush land.
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