Huka Falls

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Huka Falls
Huka Falls.jpg
Huka Falls.
LocationTaupo, New Zealand
Coordinates38°38′58″S 176°05′23″E / 38.649497°S 176.089683°E / -38.649497; 176.089683
WatercourseWaikato River and Lake Taupo
flow rate
220 m³/s (220,000 litres/second)[1]

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.[2]

The volume of water flowing through often approaches 220,000 litres per second. The flow rate is regulated by Mercury NZ Ltd 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. Mercury NZ have ability to control the flows between 50,000 litres per second (or 50 m3/s) and 319,000 litres per second (319 m3/s).

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.

Huka Falls and suspension bridge with onlookers in 1928

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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Huka Falls New Zealand". Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  2. ^ Mike Rosenberg; Geoff Kilgour (6–9 December 2004). "Field Trip 1: Taupo Volcano" (PDF). Field Trip Guides. Taupo: Geological Society of New Zealand. p. 5. ISBN 0-908678-99-1. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 7, 2009. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  3. ^ "Dominatrix tells of 'bad feelings'". Herald on Sunday. 25 October 2009. Retrieved 3 October 2011.