The mighty Huka Falls, Taupo. © Stoneography

Huka Falls: New Zealand’s most visited – and photographed – natural attraction


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The sound and the fury, indeed!

There you are in tranquil Taupo, soaking up some seriously stunning sights when, a few minutes out of town, you stop at Huka Falls.

You’re still in the middle of civilisation here, so really, how big can they be? Niagara-style? Shuuurely not . . .

Huka Falls are New Zealand’s most visited – and photographed – natural attraction. In a land packed with such things, that says an awful lot. We know statistics aren’t always seductive, but water flowing at 22,000 litres per second from 11m high? Yep, that’s what we thought.

Here the mighty Waikato River narrows from 100m down to a slender 15m wide, hence the rush for the water to jettison at the other end. You can witness this from bridges, lookout points and various trails and paths, some of which take you past hot springs and stunning views of said river.

But why not get in amongst it and jet boat to the very base of the falls? Or hover in a heli near the thunderous watery downpour? Your choice, of course, but the key thing is that somehow or other, you make time in your travels to witness this almighty exhibition of natural power and beauty.

Once satiated with spray, take the mountain bike in and around the gorgeous forest paths, or go for a meander, drinking in not just the electric blue water, but the more tranquil tributary south of where all the excitement happens. You’ll catch a view of Huka Lodge, too, a world-renowned, super-luxurious getaway that’s housed presidents and rock stars. Exactly. It’s all going on here at Huka.

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