Huka Falls Walk from Taupo

Huka Falls Walk from Spa Thermal Park in Taupo is an easy 1 hr 30 min one way walk © Freewalks.nz

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Starting from Taupo, you can walk all the way to Huka Falls instead of taking the car

We enjoyed fantastic views of the mighty Waikato River along the way. You’ll be amazed at how clear the water is in the river here, it’s just stunning. Take a dip in the hot thermal creek at the start of the walk on your way to Huka Falls, it’s really nice. There is even a new cafe there too. Once you reach Huka Falls there are plenty of different viewing points to watch the water rush through the tight ravine of sheer rock cliffs, creating a canal of big churning rapids. 

If you can’t be bothered doing the walk and just want to see the Huka Falls up close, then do the Huka Falls Jet Boat Ride from Taupo to the base of the Huka Falls.

If you’re keen on a longer walk then continue from Huka Falls along the Aratiatia Rapids Track to Aratiatia Rapids Lookout Walk.

Taupo Bungy is right next to Spa Rd - Get a discounted jump!

Maybe before your walk, you’d like to jump off New Zealand’s only cliff-top bungy at Taupo – at the best prices online. It’s only a 2 minute walk further down Spa Rd. Too scary for you? Ok, then the giant AJ Hackett Taupo Swing over the Waikato River will suit you better. These are special discounted prices if you can go at the times allocated.

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Taupo, North Island (2km away from the Taupo city centre)
  • Distance: 6 km return
  • Time needed: 3 hours return
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Mountain Bike: Not on the walking track, but there is now a separate biking track to the Huka Falls.
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Route: Round Trip
  • Elevation: 380m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: Yes, at the beginning and at the falls
  • Dogs: Yes
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes
  • Last Updated: 11 April 2022

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

Latest Google Reviews on Huka Falls Walk

Summary points about this walk

Points of interest along the walk​

Start of the Huka Falls walk at Spa Rd in Taupo

Turn left into Country Ave. Drive or walk to the end of the road, the walking track is over to the left hand side of the car park. Follow the track for about 500m down a slight hill in Spa Thermal Park until you reach the new entrance way which splits to the walk on the left and a bike track on the right, both go to Huka Falls.

Take a free dip in the natural thermal hot water stream

The council has been doing a lot of upgrading at the hot water pool area. It used to be just a simple little bridge and a scruffy side creek that was quite rough. Not anymore, now there is a lovely big fancy viewing platform overlooking the whole of the Waikato River, the hot water stream and the new viewing platforms right on the water’s edge. There is even a cafe here now, wow! Lots of new toilets and a freshwater drinking fountain.

Stop for a few minutes and give your feet a refreshing dip in the natural hot water thermal creek – it’s free! Or take your swim gear and have a swim, you’ll find the water a really nice temperature. The temperature increases the higher up the creek you go, but it’s not really accessible from here.

It can get a bit busy as these natural hot springs are free and close to town. It’s a good thing they have put in the viewing platforms and added a lot more boulders so you’re not tempted to go out swimming too far into the Waikato River as the water flows quite fast.

Good walking track beside the Waikato River to Huka Falls

You can see the track is in good condition. Its open, so you get plenty of sun and great views of the river. In some places you need to walk a few metres to get to the edge of the river. Be careful, in places the track can be very slippery if wet.

Enjoy the views of the river along the walk

Walk up the (5m) track to the look out. Sit down and enjoy the view of the Waikato River.

Views of Huka Falls Lodge on the other side of the river

You can catch a glimpse of the famous Huka Falls Lodge from the main track. For better views look for short tracks off to the left. Huka Lodge is pure luxury and beautiful.

The world famous Huka Falls

More than 220,000 litres of water tumbles over the cliff face per second at Huka Falls! These falls are a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River that drain Lake Taupo in the North Island of New Zealand. A few hundred metres upstream from the Huka Falls, the Waikato River narrows from roughly 100m across into a hard rock silica canyon only 15m across. The water flowing through supplys 90 MW to Aratiatia hydro electric power station. At the top of the falls is a set of small waterfalls dropping over about 8m. The most impressive, final stage of the falls is an 11m drop – commenly known as the Huka Falls.

Again look for tracks off to the left just before the Huka Falls, if you reach the bridge to the falls, walk back (25m) and to the right is a track, well worth the effort. For better views of the falls, head out of the car park, up to the road, turn to the right, walk (500m) then turn to the right and walk up to the look out (25m). Another way to see the Huka Falls is by Jet Boat.

You can walk from the Huka Falls to Aratiatia Dam. We didn’t do this walk, however, we have been to Aratiatia and done the Aratiatia Rapids Lookout Walk.

Walking tours and great activities in Taupo at DISCOUNTED PRICES

We’ve handpicked a number of really good things to do in Taupo at massively discounted prices. You might like to try one of these before or after your walk to the Huka Falls. Click on one for more details and to book directly online and save heaps of money.

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What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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