Huka Falls - New Zealand's Most Visited Natural Attraction
About the Huka Falls in Taupo.
Located just a few minutes drive outside of Taupo town, this thundering 11 metre high waterfall is the most visited and photographed natural attraction in New Zealand, and for good reason.
The sheer volume of water flowing through the rock face of the mighty Waikato River amounts to 220,000 litres per second; enough to fill one Olympic sized swimming pool in 11 seconds!
Enjoy the walking tracks alongside the river and wander around the different viewing platforms, taking in the falls from all angles. Huka is the Maori word for 'foam' and on arriving you’ll immediately understand why.
On a sunny day, the water is an amazing, crystal clear blue. If you want a different perspective and a taste of Taupo adventure take a boat to the base of the falls and get close enough to taste the spray!
What causes the Huka Falls?
The Waikato River, normally up to 100 metres wide, abruptly narrows to just 15 metres as it crosses a hard volcanic ledge north of Lake Taupo. This causes a huge volume of water to collide and funnel through the rocky gorge, forming the spectacularly powerful falls and rapids.
Activities around Huka Falls
There is an easy Taupo walk that takes 2 hours return, beginning at Spa Park and finishing at Huka Falls. The track crosses our natural hot spring Otumuheke Stream and meanders through gullies, forest and open farmland, offering great views of the Waikato River and open valleys along the way.
The Rotary Ride starts at Spa Thermal Park and heads north on an easy single track for 4kms to Huka Falls. Turn back after the falls or continue your ride all the way to Aratiatia Rapids some 7kms away.
Activity Operators to the Huka Falls
To really experience the falls up close and personal jump on with Hukafalls Jet for a thrilling spin right up to the white waters of Huka Falls, or slow down and take a leisurely cruise on board Huka Falls River Cruise. You’ll be surprised at how close the boats can get to Huka Falls!
Accommodation near the Huka Falls
Huka Lodge – A world-class luxury lodge located on the banks of the Waikato River upstream from Huka Falls, Huka Lodge offers superb hospitality for more discerning travellers and the occasional celebrity. Founded in the 1920s, Huka Lodge is an iconic NZ retreat.
Huka Falls Resort - Huka Falls Resort offers a peaceful and relaxed environment just a few minutes from Taupo City and Huka Falls. The resort is nestled amongst seven hectares of landscaped gardens, a vineyard and the picturesque Fletchers Church.
Getting to Huka Falls
The Huka Falls is located in the Wairakei Tourist Park, just five minutes drive north of Taupo City. Or walk to Huka Falls via the Huka Falls Walkway which begins near Otumuheke Stream at the Spa Thermal Park. Please click on the map for directions.
If you’re driving from Auckland it couldn’t be easier to access this fantastic Taupo attraction, just follow SH1 to Taupo then turn left at the Huka Falls sign to Huka Falls Road where you will come to a car park which has a small information kiosk. The kiosk is run by volunteers from the Craters of the Moon Charitable Trust, a charitable trust providing assistance to visitors to both Craters of the Moon and Huka Falls.
The volunteers provide low-key security for visitors, dispense local information, sell souvenirs, food and drink from the Huka Falls kiosk. The kiosk and access to the car park will remain open every day (closed on Christmas Day) until 8.30pm during the longer summer days from 1 November to 31 March.
It is easy to see the falls from other viewpoints and visitors can still reach the bridge across the Waikato and viewing areas on foot from both sides of the river.
There is a good view of the falls from a loop road just off the main highway and a swing bridge, originally built during the Maori Wars, crosses the river and leads along the east bank to other lookout points.
Visitor Guide 2016
Everything you need to know about activities, accommodation, shopping and dining in Great Lake Taupo.
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Your guide to the 10 Great Lake Walks within Great Lake Taupo.
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Your guide to the 10 Great Bike Rides in the region.