This is one of my favourite walks to do with the dogs, and just 45 minutes up the road from me. Harker Reserve is located at Onewhero, just around the corner from Tuakau Bridge and the Port Waikato turn off. This track is fairly quiet – I only see two or three other people most times I go – and is a great on-lead bush walk with a view. The 3km long track is accessible from the Onewhero-Tuakau Bridge road, and with another entrance at the end of Miller Road (which is super close to the waterfall if you would rather not do the walking track).
At the Onewhero-Tuakau Bridge Road, the reserve has a gravel area for car parking on the side of the road.
Head down the track and within a short distance you will come across this gate way which leads to the trail. There are a couple of picnic tables on the side of the track if you would like to take a meal with you and enjoy the peace and quiet. This one has access to the stream – the ideal spot for dogs to have a paddle! The track itself is mostly nice and wide and fairly easy going most of the way. There are a few hills though and it can be quite muddy in places, so I’d recommend wearing decent walking shoes with good grip & that you’re not worried about getting dirty. For the most part though it is well maintained and a really nice peaceful walk.
As you get closer to the falls, the track comes up to a driveway/farm race. This provides awesome farm views and is really easy going.
The entrance to the waterfall itself is just off to the side of the race, and marked with these signs. It is another beautiful bush reserve, with a downhill grassy trail. It can be quite slippery when wet so take care. If you have just driven to the Miller Road end, this entrance is only about 25 metres from where you park the car – ideal if you’re short of time or are less keen to walk and just want to see a beautiful waterfall.
The last bit of track to get to the falls is this small set of steep rocky steps. It is quite narrow and can be a bit slippery so be very careful here and take your time. Wouldn’t recommend it for young kids. Definitely pays off though, as you will be rewarded with this stunning waterfall! Car parking – Gravel on side of the roads at each end.
Toilets/Bins – No. Take all rubbish away with you.
Other – Can be quite muddy and slippery, so good grippy shoes are recommended. The council has laid poison recently (cyanide) for pest control, so heed all signs and keep your dogs on lead and under control. The track is bordered by farm land and horses also use the trail so keep this in mind.