Hell no not Hukka Falls today
Hell No not Hukka Falls today
The day dawned blue and the sun rose warm after the deluge the night before. I was full of optimism that the family would be able to take their longed for trip on the blue jetboat to Hukka Falls today.
The water was deceptively placid at the mooring pontoon and I was astonished at the small size of the open boat that would transport its occupants to the falls through which spewed 250,000 litres of water a second, over an 11m ledge to foam in a semi-circular basin against the little boats. Some of my optimism was replaced with fear for them. I didn’t care how they bragged about their experience and safety record; that was our family out there.
Rob and I drove to a viewing point towards Lake Taupo to film their experience. We knew the vast lake had risen in height by half a metre from the combined rainwaters of Cyclone Debbie and Cook but apparently dams controlled the flow out of the lake.
All the same, when we walked onto the footbridge that crosses the 10m wide chasm my heart made a painful leap, “Rob, we’ve got to go back and warn them not to go,” I gasped, Rob bless him read my fear,
“The boat only goes to the base of the falls love.” I knew that the yellow boats actually shoot the narrow canyon and then ‘muscle’ their way back up it but they would have been mental to do it on that day, I thought. At least our family was in the blue boat.
A few other folk were taking in the dramatic scene and soon the little blue boat appeared around the corner to our right. The family occupied the rear seats and in the photos you can see Emily waving in a couple of the shots. It was exciting to watch their little vessel spinning and cornering over the creamy turquoise waters that boiled and erupted beneath them.
Rob was filming them on his phone and suddenly he said “I’ve been stung by a bee,” the ragged little sting was sticking out of his tummy and he flicked it away and put up with the surprising pain until he could take some Piriton tablets that were back in the car.
We sped back down to the jet centre in the car and it seemed Ruby had shared my fear as she cried for the first part of the trip until the driver took the boat to her own very special little waterfall named after her. Emily had held Ruby so tightly that her wrist ached for days after, but what really came out of the trip was that Henry had thoroughly enjoyed the thrilling experience. His fearless enjoyment of daring experiences was to reveal itself later on in their stay too.
We led them back to where we had watched and filmed their voyage just to give them a full picture of the scene, before heading off to Waitomo for our afternoon visit of the Spellbound Glow Worm Caves and our return to Juno Hall Camp, this time with a big campervan to squeeze into a small site.