Huka Falls. © Love Taupō

Huka Falls tracks

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Take a scenic walk along the banks of the Waikato River, or simply explore the many lookout points at Huka Falls, one of the most visited natural attractions in New Zealand.

There’s a short walk suitable for people of all abilities, wheelchairs, buggies and strollers, as well as a longer walk.

Huka Falls lookout walk

How long will it take? This is a 167m 10-minute walk.

From the Huka Falls car park, cross the bridge over the falls and turn left. There are several lookout points on this easy access walk to take advantage of the views of the spectacular Huka Falls.

The incredible volume of water tumbling over the falls is due to the Waikato River being forced through a channel of hard rock only 15m wide and 10m deep. The river emerges with a rush at the northern end to form the falls.

The level of the river above the falls is controlled by the Control Gates Bridge. Installed in 1941, the gates allow water stored in Lake Taupō to be used for generating power through the Waikato River's nine hydro-electric power stations.

Flow rates increase depending on power demands, which in turn can alter the height of the Huka Falls from seven to nine-and-a-half metres...

Getting there: Huka Falls is just a five-minute drive north of Taupō, off SH 1 on Huka Falls Road. 

Spa Park to Huka Falls Walk

How long will it take? This is a 3km 90-minute walk.

This walking track allows you to walk rather than drive to the Huka Falls from Taupō. It's a pleasant walk for the whole family, starting from Spa Park and winding along the banks of the Waikato River.

From the car park walk five minutes down to the river's edge where you'll cross the Ōtumuheke Stream, a naturally hot stream which flows into the Waikato.

The well-defined track then continues along the riverbank and offers lovely views along the way.  

Return via the same track or arrange transport from Huka Falls car park. For a longer walk, continue from Huka Falls along the Aratiatia Rapids Track.

This track is for walkers only, to mountain bike from Spa Park to Huka Falls take the Rotary Ride.

Getting there: For Spa Park, turn right off Tongariro Street into Spa Road at the northern end of Taupō, then left onto County Avenue and drive into Spa Thermal Park. 

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