Rapids, fallen trees and a cheeky dip
We arrive in Taupo just after one o’clock to go to the info centre and ask about walks to Huka Falls. The kind lady there showed us how to get to the path and after a quick lunch we set off. We were lost almost immediately and found ourselves stumbling upon a bungy jump (tempting until we saw the price). Oops! We quickly got back on track and rejoined the scenic pathway.
The walk followed the line of a beautiful crystal clear and deadly cold river. This last description meant that we were somewhat surprised to see bikini clad bathers jumping into one of the tributaries joining it. Only when we passed across the bridge over it, could we see the steam hovering just above the surface and the faint smell of sulphur, indicating that this tributary came from a hot water thermal spring. It did look amazing but we’d neglected to bring our swimming cozzies and so we passed on by.
As it turned out this was no great loss as the walk was amazing with some stunning views of the river and the cliffs it had formed as it twisted its way through the land. After some time we heard the sound of rushing water and then saw Huka Falls. It was a majestic site, fifteen metres of narrow, rock channel rapids where the water was turned baby blue by the commotion before being hurtled toward the edge and spewed ten metres into the lagoon below. It was so mesmerising that we spent about fifteen minutes just staring at it before realising we still had to trek back.
We must have been bored traversing the same path twice as the journey back was a little more eventful. We ended up climbing a massive fallen tree, running barefoot up and down its trunk like little kids. A little further on and there were still bathers in the thermal pools and as Oscar Wilde once said, “The only way to defeat temptation is to yield to it.” So we went off in search of a more secluded pool and found the perfect one complete with mini-waterfall. We stripped to our undies and stepped into the blissfully warm waters, perhaps a bit too warm. Five minutes later, with sweat now making up more of the pool than springwater, we headed out but not before Alex took the opportunity for a hot shower!
Back at the camper we dried off and drove around the edge of Lake Taupo to find a place to stay. Again this drive only added to the long list of beauties we’ve experienced from a car seat in NZ, and luckily for us the views didn’t stop for the evening as we found a picnic spot on a small beach on the lake. Amazing!
Rex’s Rules of the Road
- Always carry bathers with you, you never know when you might need them.
- Read Rach's review of Huka Falls here.