Spa Thermal Park to Huka Falls walk

Combine two unmissable Taupō destinations on a leisurely stroll alongside the Waikato River, connecting the thermal waters of Otumuheke Stream and the thundering Huka Falls.

Starting from Spa Thermal Park, follow the marked path beside the grassy hills to the thermally-heated Otumuheke Stream, where soothing mineral water mingles with the Waikato River. The waterfalls and natural rock pools are popular soaking spots with locals and tourists, offering laid-back vibes no matter the season.

Continue along the well-maintained trail through areas of native bush, with gentle climbs to bluffs offering lofty views of the Waikato River surging downstream to the Huka Falls. Don't skip the wooden viewing platform – it's ideal for taking a breather and refuelling.

You'll hear the thundering Huka Falls long before they come into sight. Watch as the river narrows into a 15-metre-wide rock channel, unleashing a series of waterfalls before the final 11-meter-high highlight plunges into swirling, emerald-coloured waters. There are plenty of accessible vantage points to get you close to the action of one of Aotearoa's most visited natural attractions. From here, walk back to Spa Thermal Park or arrange a ride from the Huka Falls car park.

Distance: 3 km one way 
Grade: Easiest: Mix of well-graded dirt, gravel paths and sealed pathways.
Accessibility: Suitable for walking. The trail can be walked with an outdoorsy buggy, although a few uphills will provide a good workout.
Walking: Allow 45 min to 1 hour each way.
Biking: Not suitable for biking. The nearby Rotary Ride connects Spa Thermal Park and Huka Falls.
Direction: The trail can be walked in both directions.
Facilities: Changing rooms and toilets are available beside Otumuheke Stream. Toilets are available at the Huka Falls and Spa Thermal Park car parks. Spa Thermal Park is about a 25-minute walk from Taupō town centre.
Getting there: Parking is available at Spa Thermal Park on Country Road, off Spa Road. Or, drive north from Taupō on Wairakei Drive and turn right on Huka Falls Road to the signposted Huka Falls (about 10 min from Taupō).
Check vehicle gate closure times on arrival at both car park.
Dog access: Dogs are allowed on leads. 
Latest trail updates: Plan My Walk
Physical address:
Spa Thermal Park
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