5062 Thermal Explorer Highway, Taupo-Pohokura, Taupo

Waipunga Falls Viewing Point

The Waipunga River flows over the edge of an ignimbrite flow from the Taupo eruption of AD 186, giving rise to a photographic opportunity. The viewing point is reached by a short road off the main highway.
In 1907 the young Katherine Mansfield camped here and wrote a long descriptive letter before travelling to England for the second time. She woke to "The full glory of the morning, the dew on the grass and warrata, a lark thrilling madly, drinking a great pannikin of tea and a whole round of bread and jam".

Coach travellers on the Napier -Taupo road welcomed the falls. The Imperial Album of New Zealand Scenery (about 1896) provides a picture and tells us:

The falls shown in the above picture are on the way from Napier to Taupo, and are of very peculiar formation, being three in number and side-by-side. Bowling along the dusty road in a coach on a hot summer day, one catches the cadence of their liquid music long before the Falls come in sight, and the rush and animation of the water gives that life to the scene so appreciated by the artist.


  • Waterfall
  • River



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