Huka Falls, New Zealand is located in the Wairakei Tourist Park, not far north of the town of Taupo.
The Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drains Lake Taupo in New Zealand.
Several hundred metres upstream from the Huka Falls, the Waikato River narrows from roughly 100 metres across into a hard rock granite canyon only 15 metres across.
At the top of the falls is a set of small waterfalls dropping over about 8 metres.
The most impressive, final stage of the falls is an 11 metre drop.
This water tumbles over a cliff around 35 foot high into a deep circular basin.
The cliff or is a band of silicified conglomerate forming part of a sequence of freshwater lake beds (Huka Beds) that cover the Wairakei-Taupo region to a depth of several hundred feet including the region tapped by the geothermal bores in the Wairakei geothermal field.
The silicification of the conglomerate is due to ancient thermal activity depositing silica sinter at the ground surface. These hot springs are no longer in existence but shallow drilling has indicated that geothermal heat is still present at depth.
The Huka Jet Boat takes tourists within a few meters of the bottom of the final stage.
There are several fantastic viewing platforms which allow visitors to have a great view of the Huka Falls.
There is also a footbridge which spans over the Waikato River.
– The unique blue colour of the water in the Huka Falls and Waikato River is due to the clear water reflecting blue light.
The air bubbles in the water intensify this blue colour, providing a spectacular wonder of nature for spectactors.
– The water temperature varies from between 22ºC in the summer to 10.5ºC in the winter. Not that you would ever swim in this dangerous river!
– The volume of water passing over the falls varies between 32 and 270 cubic metres per second, or approximately 220,000 litres per second.
– The Huka Falls NZ fluctuate in height from 7 to 9.5 metres, depending on the flow of the Waikato River.
At the base of the Huka Falls there is a dangerous undertow caused by the falling water plunging deep into the pool.
During the 1930s a small hydro-electric power station was constructed just below the Huka Falls.
It supplied power to the Wairakei Hotel until the mid 1950s when it was replaced by electricity.
Huka Falls New Zealand are a must-see on your trip to New Zealand, and best of all, it’s free to visit.