Huka Falls, New Zealand

The Huka Falls are the largest falls on the Waikato River, near Taupo on New Zealand’s North Island.

It is the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand!

The Waikato River is one of New Zealand’s longest rivers and it drains Lake Taupo – the largest freshwater lake in all of Australasia.

At the Huka Falls, the Waikato River (the longest river in New Zealand) which is normally 100m wide, is forced through a 15 metre wide gorge and over a dramatic cliff drop.

Every second up to 220,000 litres of water gushes through the narrowed chasm and shoots out over 8 metres beyond to create a beautiful blue-green aqua clear pool.

Huka Falls is signposted clearly for travellers, and there’s easy car parking plus a kiosk on site for your convenience.

The pristine colour of the water is just as impressive as the powerful flow of the water itself.

The name Huka is the Maori word for ‘foam’, which is appropriate as the falling water and rapids certainly resembles foam, especially under flooding conditions.

Huka Falls, Taupo New Zealand

What Causes The Huka Falls?

The Waikato River, normally up to 100 metres wide, abruptly narrows to just 15 metres as it crosses a hard volcanic ledge. This of course causes a huge volume of water to collide together, forming a spectacular visual feast of powerful falls and rapids.

Around 220,000 litres per second of pours over the cliff face, and then rushes under a pedestrian bridge (great photo opportunity here!).

The water then bursts out of its rapids, over the 11 metre falls, and back into the Waikato River.

Huka Falls is located in Wairakei Park. This is only a short 5 minute drive north of Lake Taupo. Or you can choose the 30 minute riverside walk as a way to get to the several viewing platforms that are available.

Here you will see one of the great natural wonders of the world in action!

Watch the Huka Falls from the pedestrian bridge
Experience dazzling views of the falls and river from the pedestrian bridge.

Huka Falls FAQ

How much does it cost to visit Huka Falls?

You can visit and enjoy views of Huka Falls for free! Just drive into the Huka Falls Scenic Reserve carpark off Huka Falls Road, and you will be right there at the viewing bridge lookout and other vantage points where you'll have spectacular views.

What time does Huka Falls open?

The main carpark near the main viewing areas opens at 8am daily all year round. The carpark closes at 6:30pm during summer daylight savings time, and at 5:30pm during winter.