Tawhai falls

Tawhai falls

This beautiful New Zealand waterfall is known as Tawhai Falls. It is found near the resort town of Whakapapa inside Tongariro National Park. This area of New Zealand is better known for its volcanic terrain, but this emerald pool has its own notoriety.

Gollum’s Pool

Like most famous New Zealand locations, its fame comes from The Lord of the Rings movies. This is known as Gollum’s pool. In the movie, Gollum can be seen smashing a freshly caught fish against the rocks on the pool’s edge to the right of the falls.

Getting to Tawhai Falls

I think Tawhai Falls is much nicer in real life. The hike to the pool is an easy 5-minute jaunt down from the parking area off of SH48, the road to Whakapapa. It is about 2 miles down SH48 from where you turn off of SH57. There is a sign for the pull-off into the parking area that says Tawhai Falls. It is very easy to find.


Whakapapa is beautiful little town and ski resort. Wondering how to pronounce that Maori name? I’ll give you a forewarning that it sounds inappropriate and even Kiwis seem to have a hard time saying it without blushing. The Wh has an F sound—Fak-a-Pa-Pa… try saying it out loud and not turning red. My wife would turn bright red when I would put it in a sentence around the locals. I thought it was entertaining.

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