Huka Falls

You’ll hear the Huka Falls well before you see the them – it’s the sound of nearly a quarter of a million litres of water per second erupting from a natural gorge and thundering 11m into the Waikato River below. This incredible spectacle is the most-visited natural attraction in New Zealand – it’s hard to tear your gaze away from the endless, mesmerising torrent.

It’s caused by the Waikato River, normally 100m wide, being forced to narrow to just 15m wide as it passes through a hard volcanic canyon. This increases the flow pressure immensely, causing the water to burst out with great force as the gorge ends.

You can take a jet boat trip or river cruise up to the crystal-blue pool at the base of the falls until you can feel the spray on your face.

There are walking tracks along both sides of the falls, so you can take it in from all angles (and find the perfect spot for your selfie).

Pack a picnic and spend half a day exploring the walking and biking trails in the area on foot or by mountain bike, from five minutes to two hours in length.

Local Māori call the falls Hukanui, meaning ‘big foam’ or ‘great body of spray’.

Getting to Huka Falls

Huka Falls is five minutes’ drive by car or bus from Taupō town centre, along a beautiful forest-clad road that passes the world-famous luxury resort, Huka Lodge. If you’re feeling energetic, you can walk back to town after your visit along the Huka Falls to Spa Thermal Park track.

Huka Falls, Taupō, New Zealand

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    Waikato River

    Born on the eastern slopes of Mt Ruapehu, the longest river in New Zealand drains Lake Taupō through Taupō town, blasts through a narrow rock chasm to create the Huka Falls, then winds more peacefully northwards towards Port Waikato, south of Auckland.

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