Sightseeing in Kawerau | Places to Visit in Kawerau, New Zealand

Map of the town


Kawerau’s, centrality to rivers, forest, pristine lakes and beaches, make this your paradise!

Tarawera outlet

The Tarawera Outlet is a pleasant picnic and overnight camping spot. The area is popular with both families and sports people who enjoy kayaking, fishing, windsurfing, boating, tramping, swimming, tubing and water skiing.  Hot water beach, a natural underwater hot spring on the shores of Lake Tarawera is easily reached by either boat or kayak from the Tarawera Outlet.

The large popular campsite is accessible by car from Kawerau, on foot or by boat.  There are signs with information about the tracks and an interesting panel on Mount Tarawera’s vegetation succession.

Facilities include toilets, cooking shelter and a boat ramp. The water supply is from the river and requires boiling before use.  Fees apply and are payable to the on-site warden. 

A permit is required for safety reasons. These can be obtained from the Kawerau Information Centre.

Tarawera River

The stunning Tarawera River begins its journey at Lake Tarawera approximately 20 minutes from the Kawerau township. The river flows out across a rhyolitic lava flow before disappearing into flooded caves and eventually pours out halfway up a cliff.  This is commonly known as the Tarawera Falls and is a ‘must see’ whilst visiting Kawerau.

As the Tarawera River meanders its way through forestry towards the sea, approximately halfway on its journey it passes through Kawerau, the only town in New Zealand to have a purpose built Whitewater Slalom facility. Whitewater Kawerau is the venue for many whitewater Slalom events in New Zealand, including the World Rafting Champs.

Tarawera Falls and the Vanishing River

The Tarawera Falls are the most spectacular falls in the Bay of Plenty.

The Tarawera River flows out of Lake Tarawera and across a rhyolitic lava flow that erupted from Mt Tarawera about 11,000 years ago.  After falling over an impressive 5-7m fall the river vanishes into the lava flooded caves and pours out halfway up the cliff on the far side of the flow at an impressive 35m.  After rain, part of the flow passes over the top of the cliff as a 65m companion fall.
The river bed around the falls is carved into ancient volcanic rocks and the high cliffs are thought to be the eroded end face of an ancient lava flow that poured from Mt Tarawera during the eruption.

Download further information and a brochure on walks in the area.


The Tasman Mill site is a pulp and paper site located on Fletcher Avenue just outside the townsjip of Kawerau. The Tasman site is the largest single employer  in the Eastern Bayof Plenty region.