Thursday, August 28, 2014
Huka Falls, Taupo, North Island
The Waikato is one of New Zealand's major electricity-producing rivers. The Waikato River system overall produces 15 percent of New Zealand's power. This area was originally settled by Maori tribesmen who lived and worked in the region for centuries where they made use of the volcanic and geothermal landscape. In the 1870s Europeans arrived and began to settle at the outlet of the Waikato River on the edge of Lake Taupo. Soon the region's attractions gained an international reputation, and today Huka Falls is a major tourist site. Over 200,000 litres of water plunge nine metres over the great rock face of Huka Falls every second. That's enough to fill five Olympic swimming pools every minute. After tumbling over the falls the water picks up masses of air bubbles which create breathtaking colors and give the falls their name after the Maori word for foam.