McLaren Falls Park is 190 hectares of parkland set alongside Lake McLaren and is just ten minutes by car, from Tauranga.
The park is popular for camping, fishing, kayaking, disc golf course, wedding photos, picnics, bush walks and summertime concerts. It is also home to one of the best botanical collections of trees in New Zealand.
The park ranger | Park information and facilities | Accommodation and bookings | Weddings and events
Bringing your horse | Trout fishing | Wairoa River and McLaren Falls | Fees
One of the highlights of the park is the waterfall track where you can see glow worms after dusk. Enjoy a short, easy stroll to the picturesque waterfall and spot the glow worms on either side of the track. Part of the waterfall track is also wheelchair and mobility scooter friendly.
History of McLarens Falls Park (60kb pdf)
The McLaren Falls Park Ranger is on duty seven days a week and can be contacted by calling Council.
McLaren falls map (1.8mb pdf)
Park information and facilities
||Winter: 7.30am – 5.30pm - when daylight saving ends
Summer: 7.30am – 7.30pm - when daylight saving starts
||Around 300 sheep roam through the grassed areas so dogs are not permitted within McLaren Falls Park.
||Adults can bring and drink alcohol responsibly while at the park. People under the age of 18 are not to bring or consume alcohol at the park.
||Electric barbeques are located at around the park at Top Flat, Bottom Flat, two in Cherry Bay and Hamilton Point
|Marshalls Animal Park
||Accessed through the park and featuring domestic and exotic animals, a must-see for children. Phone 07 543 1099.
||Located by the information centre, phone 07 543 4976.
||Mclarens Falls parks walkways
Slow vehicle access is available throughout the park for easy access to picnic areas. Gates open for outgoing vehicles after closing time, so you don’t need to be in a hurry to leave: stay and enjoy the glow worms!
Accommodation and bookings
Camping, caravans and campervans
Book a campsite online
The maximum stay for camping is three nights. There are designated areas available for camping, including Top Flat, Hamilton Point and Pin Oak Flat. Shower facilities are free and available at Pin Oak Flat.
- 0-5 years old - free
- 5-16 years old - $5 per night per person
- 16+ years old - $10 per night per person
Bookings are not required for camping, but are encouraged, and the locations are available on a 'first come, first served basis'.
People under 18 years old can't camp without a responsible parent or guardian present for the duration of their stay.
If you need to cancel your booking, and the date of cancellation is more than five days before the arrival date, you are entitled to a 100% refund. If the date of cancellation is five days or less before the arrival date then you will not receive a refund.
Cancel your booking online.
Please note that park entry closes at 7:30pm. Campers must arrive before this time, even if they already have a booking.
McLaren Falls hostel
Make a hostel booking request
Check hostel availability (available dates are shown in white on the calendar)
The cost to stay at the hostel is $119.00 per night (3pm to 10am) for a group booking. To extend your stay the day rate (10am until 3pm) is $57.50.
- three bedrooms with 16 bunk beds
- two inside toilets and showers
- lounge/kitchen/dining area
- kitchen with two fridges, a freezer, microwave, toaster, stove and zip water heater, some cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils and cleaning products
- log burner in the lounge area - need to supply your own wood.
There is a small paddock next to the hostel which can be used for camping if you have a group larger than 16 utilising the hostel as well. The standard camping rates will apply and will be charged for by invoice prior to your stay.
Weddings and events
Information about hold weddings at Council reserves can be found at Using our parks - weddings.
Bringing your horse
If you want to use the jumps and equestrian area facilities, contact Susan Woodcock at the Tauranga Pony Club, who can advise availability and costs. Please be mindful that the equestrian area is still open to the public.
When riding through the park, keep horses under control at all times and don’t exceed a slow canter. Do not ride through the front of the park, you can ride from Cherry Bay and beyond or on the walking tracks. Leave the park in the same condition as when you arrived - pick up any droppings and close any gates you open.
If you need to unload your horse, use the equestrian area or Pin Oak Flat.
If you want to erect any temporary structures in the equestrian area please discuss with the parks booking coordinator prior to your booking start date.
There is year-round fishing in Lake McLaren and in the Ruahihi Canal. You need a fishing licence prior to visiting the park. You can purchase a day licence from some sports shops or online through Fish and Game New Zealand. Licences are not available to purchase from McLaren Falls Park. Season licences expire 30 September each year.
Wairoa River and McLaren Falls
On the Wairoa river near Tauranga, Trustpower runs the Kaimai Hydroelectric Power Scheme this includes a superb recreational area, popular for kayaking, rafting, fishing, running and picnicking. To provide great white water for recreational kayakers and rafters, we regularly release water from McLaren Falls dam durning warm months.
Mclaren falls booking fees
Last Reviewed: 11/01/2018