Huka Falls, the fabulous waterfalls that you absolutely have to see when you are in Taupo, New Zealand. What is there to do and see there? There is the Aratiatia Rapids. You can drive to the lake to the Maori Rock Carvings and watch the bravest adventurers plunge into the depths on the bungee rope over the Waikato.
On your second morning in Taupo, you should set an appointment straight away, because in order to see the spectacle that the Aratiatia Rapids offer, there are fixed times when you can see them in action. In just ten minutes you can be from your holiday home to the nearby dam, which separates the reservoir and the course of the Waikato with the famous Huka waterfalls from the Aratiatia Rapids. The dam is opened several times a day to drain the water into the lower course of the river. Then the most wonderful wild eddies are created with an unbelievable force, which turn calm surfaces into the most foaming water rapids between bizarre rock formations. 90,000 liters of water per second then plunge violently through a narrow gorge – and only half an hour later, when the gates of the dam are closed, the water calms down just as quickly and everything is calm and contemplative again.
There is a manageable large parking lot behind a bridge right up on the reservoir, where there is also the small pier for the river trips to the Huka Falls. From there, a short walk up the rocks to a medium-high lookout point that is well secured and offers a wonderful view of the dam and the river bed. In a longer walk you can go up even higher. From the bridge itself you can also see very well how the water changes nature within a few moments, but the additional walk through the forest will make it even nicer. A fun fact for all “The Hobbit” fans: the Aratiatia Rapids are one of the locations of the famous movie, because this is where the scene was shot in which the warves escape captivity in barrels.
There were few other people there besides us, so we had the time and the best prospect to see and marvel at everything, and we did. Hobbits or not, just watching the power of the water here was impressive. In a From here we could have reached our next destination, the Huka Falls, in a two-hour walk through the forest and along the river, but now the Berlinmittedad had something else on the slip, something that they used to do here and that they absolutely wanted to show us all. More than that, he wanted to experience it again with us. Jet boating on the Waikato River Taupo and the surrounding area are known in New Zealand as the area with the most adventurous and extraordinary activities that attract all kinds of daring. From whitewater rafting in the famous Huka Falls to skydiving, helicopter flights and lots of activities on the lake itself to bungee jumping in front of a breathtaking backdrop over the Waikato River, there’s nothing here that doesn’t exist. The Berlinmittedad also did his first bungee jump here when he was eighteen, but now he wanted to go jet boating with us. After taking a short walk to see the turquoise blue wild Huka Falls up close (you can drive up relatively close by car, park it in a parking lot and walk to the waterfalls in about ten minutes), we went to the drop-off point for the jet boats. Upon closer inspection, I decided this company is not for me. I’m not into extreme acceleration and I’m not a fan of roller coasters or that famous tingling sensation in my stomach that makes so many people love all these things. And the jet boats with people screeching with pleasure that arrived at the pier and drove off spoke a clear language about the speed and daring with which the water was driven here. So I sat in the cafe on the bank drank Flat White and let my little gang go on this adventure without me. Jet boating to Huka Falls is definitely not cheap fun when in Taupo with kids, but it is sure to be an unforgettable experience. In any case, my four were completely flashed and happy when they stood in front of me after a short three quarters of an hour, beaming again. They had driven all the way to the Huka Falls on one side and the reservoir on the other, including several 360 ° rotations of the jet boat, and their bright faces spoke a clear language. If you are in Taupo with children and would like to treat them to a special experience on the water that also takes place in this wonderful natural environment, investing in a jet boat tour is just the right thing. A short walk to the waterfalls The children had already seen the Huka Falls from the water, I was still missing this point in the program. Because we had already booked a boat tour for the evening, we decided to travel by car instead of the two-hour hike from the reservoir at the Aratiatia Rapids. From far above you could see the turquoise Waikato and see how the water plunges into the depths at the Huka Falls. We drove to the parking lot below in the valley and approached the Huka Falls comfortably in about ten minutes on a path above the falls. From a bridge you can watch the course of the river very well and see how the Waikato suddenly breaks in the waterfalls. A small path along the bank and through a piece of forest brought us even closer. A ranger on site told us that the river was currently carrying relatively little water due to the prolonged drought, so that the falls are not quite as impressive as usual. However, we found the power of the water very impressive and observed it Waterfalls for a while, until we parted again and walked back to the car.Bungee in Taupo and the Spa Thermal Park Following the footsteps of eighteen-year-old Berlinmittedad, we then went to a jumping-off point for the crazy people who are drawn here to Taupo to try theirs in the extreme To test physical and mental limits: we watched bungee jumps and were duly impressed. The New Zealand child briefly had the fluff in their head that they wanted to do that too, but she wasn’t entirely convinced and I wasn’t three times, so it stayed with watching. The walk down from the take-off tower towards the river was enchanting. We spent some time there and enjoyed the view of the beautiful Waikato, where we could watch kayakers and keep an eye on the bungee jumpers. Within walking distance of the bungee take-off tower, we found the Spa Thermal Park, which we only entered a small one Could walk in a little, since our evening appointment was already waiting. There is a kind of natural spa here, because here you will find various hot springs on the banks of the Waikato, in which you can bathe and relax. The use of the springs in the very well-kept park, which also has a very nice playground and many shady trees, is free. With more time it would have been a perfect opportunity to relax and bathe and let the children run around. So if you are in Taupo with children and have a bit of time, you should not miss this: Pack towels, a change of clothes, swimming trunks and a picnic and enjoy the hot springs in the natural spa.Tour on Lake Taupo to the Maori rock carvings The last item on the program the day then brought us all down a bit. We had booked a small evening tour on Lake Taupo, which took us to the famous ten meter high Maori Rock Carvings. Sun and wind were wonderful and so we cruised over Lake Taupo for two hours, ate pizza on board and admired the Maori Rock carvings. Turning to the water they look at everyone, which approach the rugged cliffs from the lake and show a piece of impressive Maori history and handicrafts. By the way, there are various providers of tours on Lake Taupo, both sailing trips and on speedboats or even yachts. We had booked our “Evening Cruise” with Ernest Kemp and were very happy. After the exciting day that was exactly the right way to end, and also our farewell to Taupo, which we left with a heavy heart the next morning – our days here had been so wonderful. We didn’t know what else to expect! How much beauty, how many special moments, how many experiences that would fill our hearts forever! The next day we made our way to Wellington in our little rusty arbor – and after this article about Taupo with children this will also be the next New Zealand article for you: Tips for Wellington with children. My longing for New Zealand will soon be whole again great when I write all this down for you and look through the pictures. And you? Do you still like it?