Huka Falls

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

Huka Falls is a set of waterfalls on the Waikato River, which drains Lake Taupō in New Zealand.

A few hundred metres upstream from Huka Falls, the Waikato River narrows from approximately 100 metres across to a canyon only 15 metres across. The canyon is carved into lake floor sediments laid down before Taupō Volcano'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 Taupō 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 about 8 metres. The final stage of the falls is 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 Taupō and readily accessible from State Highway 1.

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