After a bit of a lazy morning, we parked up in Taupo and decided to walk to Huka Falls from the town. There’s a nice little walk from the Spa Thermal Park along the Waikato river; the falls are part of the Waikato river. The park as the name suggests has natural thermal pools which you can have a dip in. We decided against it but dipped our fingers in a small pool at the front.
The walk takes you along the Waikato river which was a gentle stroll. We saw some canoeists on the river and also passed an amazing looking hotel / lodge. We found out later it was The Huka Lodge (http://www.hukalodge.co.nz/), however we were still content with our little Jucy camper.
After around an hour, we reached the falls. So far on our travels we’ve seen plenty of waterfalls – the Iguazu Falls in Argentina and recently Bridal Veil Falls – and we knew that we would be visiting more in the South Island soon. So it’s a little hard to get excited about the falls compared to some of the other visitors. But once we came face to face with the falls, we were pretty impressed due to the turquoise colour of the water and the sheer volume of water flowing.
We had some photos taken including this backpacker classic below – one easy way to spot a backpacker is if they are carrying around a 2 litre bottle of water!
At the bottom of the falls there’s an 11 metre drop and a huge splash pool. If you have the money you can ride up to the falls in a Huka Falls jet boat. There’s various jet boats in New Zealand, this one takes you up the river and then close to the bottom of the last drop.
At the top of the falls we then witnessed some classic English stupidity. A rugby group decided to jump over the fences on the far side and unveil a huge flag for a photo opportunity at the top of the huge drop. They were from Cirencester Rugby club, luckily they didn’t jump or slip. On our exit, we saw one of the lads hobble over to the information hut with a massive gash on his leg. Guess one of them ended up falling as they tackled the bushes to get to the photo spot. Idiot!
A good morning / afternoon, we walked back to the car and then headed out on the road again. This time, we’re headed to Napier which is located on the coast. We stayed at a top ten campsite that night and had another homemade meal.