Although the name “Huka” may sound saucy, this lady is no tramp. Her name is actually shortened from “Hukanui” meaning “Great Body of Spray”. Ummmm, yes, yes, alright. That too sounds saucy. But all jokes aside, Huka Falls is a magnificent force of nature that must be seen and heard to be believed.
The Waikato River is the longest in New Zealand, winding 425 km through the North Island. Just north of Taupo, the Waikato River narrows suddenly to just 15 metres (it’s usual width is about 100 metres). Through that narrow chasm thunders 220, 000 Litres of crystal clear, icy cold water every single second. The force of this torrent is awe-inspiring and the roar of the water can be heard from the carpark.
After this inundation of water surges through the chasm and under the footbridge holding wide-eyed visitors, it cascades 10 metres into a whirling, gushing pool of foam and spray – a la Huka Falls. Besides gawking at the Falls from various vantage points, one can also Jet Boat in the lower pool. But there is absolutely no diving from the footbridge or swimming in the lower pool as it would result in being pummelled into the next world… much like if you went over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
After a thorough spin-cycle, natures’ washing machine sends the water on its merry way to continue the remainder of its journey through the North Island. Huka Falls is a free attraction and there are many decent hikes in the immediate vicinity. If you get lost on the hikes, just follow the lady’s roars back to civilization (but obviously try not to get lost in the first place). This lady is so damn lovely, that by the end of your visit there will be no more dirty side comments about Great Sprays and Hukas. Have some respect, people!