Huka Falls in Taupo, Waikato is a must-visit natural attraction in New Zealand. It was here that I witnessed the sheer volume, strength and power of 220,000 litres of raging water gushing through a tight channel and over the falls every second; creating an enchantingly beautiful, but turbulent blue-green pool below.
Huka Falls – A Force to be Reckoned With
Huka Falls is located in the Wairakei Tourist Park, just five minutes drive north of Taupo town centre, off SH1 on Huka Falls Road. It is New Zealand’s most visited and photographed scenic reserve. The falls are located on the Waikato River, the longest river in New Zealand and the only outlet for Lake Taupo. Did you know? The Waikato River system produces 15 percent of New Zealand’s power.
Huka Falls got its name from the Maori word huka for ‘foam’. When huge amounts of water from the Waikato River are forced to travel through a tight channel that is only 15 metres wide and 10 metres deep, it creates a powerful force that drives mighty falls and rapids.
It is said that the amount of water passing through is enough to fill one Olympic sized swimming pool in 11 seconds – that just shows how powerful Huka Falls is! In fact, visitors could get a rush of adrenaline and experience the tremendous power of Huka Falls up-close and personal by taking a thrilling jet boat ride (Huka Falls Jet) or go for a leisurely cruise (Huka Falls River Cruise).
Stunning Viewpoints & a Leisurely, Scenic Stroll
Since my fiancé and I were in Taupo for Christmas, we decided to drop by Huka Falls before making the trip back home. Entrance to Huka Falls is free, whereas it costs 50 cents to use the toilets located at the information kiosk. There are no toilets in the park.
Since it was Christmas, Huka Falls was jam-packed with people; locals and visitors alike. Thankfully, we were lucky enough to get a parking space the moment we arrived at the car park. From there, we walked alongside Waikato River and made our way towards the direction of Huka Falls, stopping by several viewpoints to have a closer look at the falls in different perspectives.
Since we were in a hurry, we did not walk the entire length of the Huka Falls – Aratiatia Walkway (2 hours) or the highly recommended Spa Park – Huka Falls Walkway (1 hour). We went as far as Huka Falls and watched the Huka Falls Jet approached as close as it can get to the falls and drenched the excited passengers in the process.
In a Nutshell
It was an unforgettable experience to see Huka Falls up-close and personal and witnessed the tremendous power of water and nature in motion. We took several photos to remember the day and hope to visit it again someday in the future. 🙂