Huka Falls Walkway

Huka Falls Walkway

Spa Park to Huka Falls


138 Rankers Reviews

128 Face-to-Face

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

Nau mai, haere mai

I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.

I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!


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Huka Falls - the bigger picture
The Waikato River leading into the Huka Falls
Next to the action at Huka falls; 200,000 litres per second!


6 km return | 1h 45 minutes return

An undulating meander along the banks of New Zealand’s mightiest river - the Waikato. Passing a natural hot spring, spying on New Zealand’s most expensive luxury lodge, and ending at Huka Falls.


From Taupo centre at the roundabout near the Control Gates of the Waikato River, head uphill on Spa Road. After 1.6 km Spa Thermal Park is signposted on the left. Head to the carpark at the road end, where signs with the track layout direct you down to the river.


Pass the footbridge over Otumuheke Stream and the thermal pools - the perfect tonic for the return. Following the banks of the Waikato River, there are lookouts and the odd bench.

The track undulates through pines, and scrub. There are some fine river views on the way to Huka Falls.

Return via the same track.


Otumuheke Thermal Pools are natural hot springs by the river. Well used, including by Bogans who leave broken glass bottles about - so be careful.

The Waikato River New Zealand’s longest, with a catchment covering 14,260 square km (12% of the area of the North Island). From beginnings on the flanks of the volcanoes, it flows into Lake Taupo, where it’s discharge is controlled by a dam.

The river then cuts through the volcanic plateau, passing through eight hydro electric dams, and onto the lowlands from Cambridge to Mercer.

The river finally flows into the Tasman Sea at Port Waikato after a journey of 425 km from Lake Taupo.
The Waikato River is a tupuna (ancestor), a taonga (treasure), and the mauri (life force) of Tainui Waka and Ngati Tuwharetoa.

Polynesian History

The Waikato River is considered a tupuna (ancestor), a taonga (treasure), and the mauri (life force) of Tainui Waka and Ngati Tuwharetoa.

European History

The Waikato Power Scheme generates 1450 MW of hydroelectric power.


Feature Value Info


DOC Central North Island

Central government organisation


North IslandTaupo RegionTaupo


  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Free


Showing 13 reviews of 115.

Mike Fricker's avatar

Mike Fricker

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

21Sept18. After a walk around town we decided to walk to the falls from Spa Park. It was a very warm day for spring and we bailed out before getting there. The walk was good and the hot springs were well attended by mostly younger people.
We went to the falls the following day. As good as last time. A sight to see.

Reviewed over 3 years ago

Amy Lord's avatar

Amy Lord

Ranking: 7/10

Beautiful arctic blue water! The hike was less than the 15 minute sign but it is at an incline the way back to parking lot.

Reviewed about 4 years ago

Liane Bausch's avatar

Liane Bausch


Ranking: 8/10

After watching the Huka Falls, walk to Spa Park, really cool spot! Nice way to walk.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Julien Turpin's avatar

Julien Turpin

Ranking: 10/10

The amount of water is quite impressive and a little scary :) don't fall in! It is a little more impressive than the dam rapids, that was good too and both are worth stopping at.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago

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Tim Fassbender's avatar

Tim Fassbender


Ranking: 9/10

Coolest waterfall I have ever seen. Thermal baths were pretty nice, walk next to the river was awesome too, because of the clear and colourful water.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in January 2017

Michel and Susanne's avatar

Michel and Susanne


Ranking: 10/10

Close parking space next to the track. Clean track. Great nature sometimes I think there are not enough trash bins. That is something that you maybe can improve for the future.

Reviewed almost 5 years ago and experienced in February 2017

Saskia Schug's avatar

Saskia Schug


Ranking: 8/10

A very nice 1.5 hour walk with an amazing view. At the end you can jump in the thermal hot pools to rejuvenate.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in December 2016

Jack Robinson's avatar

Jack Robinson


Ranking: 10/10

Fantastic walk along the Waikato River. The thermal park is 100% worth a swim and the falls are good.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

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Alice Frater's avatar

Alice Frater

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Absolutely stunning walk the whole way. Water is emerald green, hot spring on route to stop off for a dip. Would definitely recommend!

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Sebastiaan's avatar



Ranking: 7/10

After a nice bush walk you reach the Huka Falls. Heading back you can stop at the free thermal pool.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in March 2016

Megan Telford's avatar

Megan Telford


Ranking: 8/10

Free hot springs! Excellent activity, although can imagine it gets busy in peak season, it was perfect in should season.

Reviewed about 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Lucy Millett's avatar

Lucy Millett

United Kingdom

Ranking: 7/10

Lovely waterfall with viewing bridge. Good opportunity to take photos. Long, steep walk to the hot springs which were a bit disappointing as they were so crowded.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

Felicity Ford's avatar

Felicity Ford


Ranking: 8/10

Lovely walk with some pretty views. The hot and cold pools at one end and the Huka Falls at the other end make for an entertaining walk.

Reviewed over 5 years ago and experienced in November 2016

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick