Huka Falls, 5 minutes drive north just outside of Taupo, is a 9-metre high waterfall that spews water at 220,000 litres per second (over 48,000 gallons.) That’s enough to fill an Olympic sized swimming pool every 11 seconds!
Huka Falls is New Zealand’s most visited natural attraction, and it’s easy to see why. On clear days, due to its crystal clear waters, the river is the most amazing blue colour. Viewing platforms to the side and a bridge across the top, give correspondingly spectacular views of the raging torrent of water. To clarify, all this is free!
The river, normally 100 metres (109 yards) across narrows down to 15 metres as it goes through a hard volcanic rock channel. To be sure, the results are spectacular! Huka Falls gets its name from the Maori word for foam, it’s not hard to see why!
Walking tracks, from 5 minutes to 2 hours, meander their way through the falls area. We found it to be a nice gentle walk which offered some surprisingly fabulous views of the river in its slumbering state. Upstream the river is markedly different with its crystal clear waters and is such a contrast from the thundering noise of the falls. The river flows north from Lake Taupo.
Lake Taupo was created by a huge volcanic eruption about 27,000 years ago, geologically yesterday! It has erupted a number of times since then. The last being in 181AD. The eruption was so powerful it turned the sky red as far away as China and Rome !
You can also take a jet boat ride to the base of the falls. While not cheap at $125NZ, it does offer a unique perspective. See here for details
We really enjoyed coming here! Its uniqueness certainly had us captivated. The thunder of the falls coupled with the comparative gentleness of the river upstream contrasted beautifully. In particular, we spent a good 2 hours looking, taking photos and just nosing around. If you are coming to New Zealand, this place is a must.
- 5 minutes North of Taupo
- 9-metre Falls
- Crystal clear blue water
- Ample parking
- Completely Free!
Check out our other New Zealand highlights.