Leaving Taupo to the North, the first thing everybody stumbles over are the Huka Falls and the Craters of the Moon. Both attractions we had to see once more, not only to show the kids what the places really are that hang as photographies from our walls at home but because it’s everytime different. As usual we had to do some raindancing to bring the sun out and eventually look for another Motel sooner today because the showers at the Craters couldn’t hold us back from doing the whole tour (which takes one hour)(also in the rain)(and we were to optimistic than to buy raincoats or umbrellas… ).
The water surging through this narrow gut is flowing from Lake Taupo. This is the Waikato, NZ’s longest river, at the start of its 425 km journey to the Tasman Sea south of Auckland. Here, the river is confined by hard geothermally altered rock. Over time it has carved a channel about 15 metres wide and 10 metres deep through the underlying softer sedimentary layers. The water churns along this channel towards Huka Falls at a rate much faster than the river’s average flow of 40 squaremetres per second. In time, the falls will move “backwards” upstream, towards the lake.