The Huka Falls are beautiful and largest falls on the Waikato River, it’s near Taupo in New Zealand’s North Island. It is the best visited natural attraction in New Zealand!
The Waikato River is one of New Zealand’s longest rivers and it drains Lake Taupo – the biggest freshwater lake in all of Australasia.
At the Huka Falls, the Waikato River which is usually 100m wide, is forced through a 20 meter wide gorge and over a dramatic 20m drop.
Every second up to 220,000 liters of water flushes through the gorge and shoots out over 8 meters beyond to make a beautiful blue/green pool.
The name Huka is the Maori word for ‘foam’, which is appropriate as the striking water and rapids certainly look like foam, especially under flooding conditions.
The Waikato River, generally up to 100 meters wide, abruptly narrows to only 15 meters as it traverses a hard volcanic ledge. This of course has a huge bulk of water to collide together, making a dramatic visual feast of powerful falls and rapids.
Approximately 220,000 liters per second of streaming over the cliff face, and then flashes under a pedestrian bridge.
The water then bursts out of its rapids, over the 11 meter falls, and rearward into the Waikato River.
Huka Falls is located in Wairakei Park. This is just a short 5 min ride north of Lake Taupo. Or you can take the 30 minute riverside walk as a means to get to the several viewing platforms that are usable.