This loop track takes you to a series of remarkable plunge pools formed by the scouring action of water-borne sand and gravel on 20,000-year-old lava. Family-friendly and accessible for all, make sure you take your togs with you for an icy dip in these natural pools. Off the path, you have the option to scour the rocks around the pools. The higher you go, the better the view of the mountain.

The track begins from the carpark 100m above the Dawson Falls Visitor Centre.

  • Walk through the Goblin Forest of twisted kāmahi trees hanging with ferns and mosses.
  • Walk straight ahead past the turnoff to Waingongoro Hut. This junction is also where the return loop will bring you back later in the walk. It is also possible to go to the pools and return the same way, without crossing the river.
  • Cross the Kapuni Stream. Take care here as the riverbank may be eroded, making access difficult. There is no bridge across this stream.
  • Rock steps allow you to walk up beside the pools to the top, but take care as it can be slippery.
  • Return to the base of the pools to continue the walk. The rest of the loop leads through sub-alpine scrub and montane forest past Twin Falls and Bubbling Springs.
  • Walk past the road-end’s water intake weir, cross the Kapuni Stream and turn left to return to the parking area.  

For further information contact New Plymouth, Stratford or South Taranaki i-SITE Visitor Centre, or view the downloadable brochures from our website.