Huka Falls

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The Huka Falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drains Lake Taupo in New Zealand.

A few hundred metres upstream from the Huka Falls, the Waikato River narrows from approximately 100 metres across into a canyon only 15 metres across. The canyon is carved into lake floor sediments laid down before Taupo’s Oruanui eruption 26,500 years ago.

The volume of water flowing through often approaches 220,000 litres per second. The flow rate is regulated by Mighty River Power through the Taupo Control Gates as part of their hydro system planning, with Waikato Regional Council dictating flows during periods of downstream flooding in the Waikato River catchment.

At the top of the falls is a set of small waterfalls dropping over about 8 metres. The final stage of the falls is over a 6-metre drop, raised to an effective 11m fall by the depth of the water. The falls are a popular tourist attraction, being close to Taupo and readily accessible from State Highway One.

The falls featured in a national scandal in February 1989 when the body of cricket umpire Peter Plumley-Walker was found downstream, with wrists and ankles bound. The resulting investigation exposed the Auckland bondage scene. Dominatrix Renee Chignall was acquitted of his murder after three trials.

The sheer volume of water flowing over the falls amounts to 220,000 litres per second – enough to fill one Olympic sized swimming pool in 11 seconds!

Enjoy the walking tracks alongside the river and wander around the different viewing platforms, taking in the falls from all angles. You can bring a picnic and spend the day here.

On a sunny day, the water is an amazing, crystal clear blue. If you want a different perspective and a taste of Taupo adventure take a boat to the base of the falls and get close enough to taste the spray!

For tourists and naturalists, firstly, it is easy to get to the waterfalls of Hook, as the state highway is not far away, and secondly, the river Uaikato provides excellent opportunities for rafting on inflatable rubber boats. That’s why in the Tourist Park all year round full of fans of extreme alloy.


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Location -38.6486, 176.0901
Elevation 0 feet (asl)


Total Height 36 feet 11 meters
Tallest Drop 36 feet 11 meters
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Stream Waikato River
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