“Huka” translates from Maori as “long white water” and “foam,” which is what the largest falls on the Waikato River near the town of Taupo on New Zealand’s North Island appropriately resemble, particularly during flood conditions.
Huka Falls New Zealand are made up of a set of falls that drain into Lake Taupo, starting at the top with 8-foot cascades.
A spectacular show of colliding water manifests in powerful falls and rapids as a result of the river’s abrupt narrowing from its usual 100 meter width to just 15 meters over a volcanic ledge crossing. The pressure bursts into an amazing display of energy and force as 220,000 liters per second culminate in an 11-meter plunge back into the river.
A footbridge spanning the Waikato River and great viewing platforms exist in several parts for breathtaking vistas. Onlookers will notice a unique blue color in the falls and river, intensified by air bubbles in the clear water that reflect blue light.
The sound of the falls is overpowering with strength and sound. As I stood there watching this magnificent natural ongoing occurrence, I was so taken by its beauty.
Powerful Huka Falls New Zealand is among the many travel attractions not to be missed on your vacation. While this landmark makes for awesome photo opportunities, there are other ways to experience its natural beauty.
Adventure tours such as Hukafalls Jet features the falls in conjunction with a thrilling jet boat ride with 360° spins at exhilarating speeds. The half hour ride also journeys through the river past the Wairakei Thermal Power Station, Huka Prawn Park, and Aratiatia Dam.
Another way to see Huka Falls New Zealand is on foot via the Spa Park Walk and Aratiatia Rapids Walk. The first facilitates easy walking with a two hour return and many photo opportunities of cliffs, mid-channel islands, and rain forest along the way.
The second offers cliff top views of the Waikator River on the way down to the Aratiatia hydro dam and rapids, with a picnic area stop. The spectacular sight of rapids flowing through the control gates occurs several times daily. The Taupo Visitor Centre can advise on opening times.
A most extravagant and memorable way to enjoy this landmark is to arrive by helicopter at Huka Lodge where lucky guests on New Zealand holidays may experience a unique wedding in its picturesque setting.
Such natural Kiwi attractions are must see stops in your travel. Huka Falls New Zealand is no exception.