What We Love
- Pre-dinner drinks, a five-course dinner and full country-style breakfast are included in the Jetsetter rate
- Spacious Suites feature glass door walls that open onto terraces overlooking the roaring Waikato River
- Over twenty possible dining venues, including an Africa room dotted with taxidermy from the owners’ collection
What To Know
- Despite the “Lodge” in the name, the Suites are housed in outbuildings; bundle up to go to dinner in winter
- The ambience is more formal than at some other New Zealand luxury lodges
- With just 25 rooms and no bar per se, there's not much of a party scene
- The North Island’s Lake Taupo region is known for trout fishing and adventure sports
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Built in 1924 by an Irishman who came to the area for its superlative fly fishing, and operated as a guest lodge for more than 25 years, Huka Lodge has a pleasingly comfortable worn-in look. Old World ambience pervades New Zealand’s original “superlodge,” where much of the decor, not to mention the staff, seems to have been airlifted straight from Scotland. The interior is made up of fireplaces, dark paneling, stately furnishings, taxidermy and tartan. But the reason you come is to fish. Trout-rich Lake Taupo is nearby, and the Waikato River roars right past the lodge. Catch your breakfast and they’ll cook it up for you. Just get cleaned up before heading to the dining room.
Bed and Bath
The Junior Suites and cottages are spacious and quiet, as they occupy separate buildings; the only sound is the surging river. The decor is simple and more contemporary than that of the main lodge, mostly shades of white and cream, with soft gray plaid throws to break things up. The monogrammed bed linens are luxurious, and fresh biscuits provide a nice touch. Bathrooms are spacious and light-filled, with bathtubs set next to large windows.
The lodge offers an impressive array of activities for a 25-room property: an outdoor swimming pool, two hot tubs, tennis courts, croquet, petanque, mountain bikes and in-room massages and facials. But as is the case at many New Zealand lodges, the primary activity is dining. Dutch-born executive chef Michel Louws brings continental flair to the five-course dinners (a standout during my visit was a deconstructed carrot cake with cake crumbles and cream cheese frosting wrapped in a carrot slice) and hearty breakfasts.
How to Get There
Several of our fellow travelers rated this place a favorite among other 5 star contenders. Why? Great service, amazing hedges, spectacular setting on the river, great dining, relaxed pace, awesome staff... the list goes on. We had a buy out of the place and were privileged to get upgraded to the owners cottage. Wow - what can I say? full kitchen, unlimited premium bar, massage in room, real fireplace in huge living room plus cozy den with gas fireplace,plunge pool (infinity), jacuzzi with river view, separate bedrooms, huge bathrooms... I wish we had more time. Wine cellar was special, food was awesome. 5 star experience. My only complaint was being charged $700 ($635 after we complained) for pick up and drop off to do the nearby Tongariro Alpine pass hike (which was amazing!). That just did not sit well with me after what our group paid to be here for 2 nights - $600 is a huge inflated cost for an hour ride there and back and should have been provided at cost for us as guests period. Come on people - don't be cheap for such a low cost thing (our driver said it was normally less than $100 each way).
Owner's cottage was just BEYOND and a big shout out for the staff who went above and beyond in every way. Just that one small complain in an otherwise off the charts experience.
We had a wonderful lunch at Huka Lodge last month on our North Island Trip. The service was top rate as expected and we were able to wander around the gardens and the lodge. The view of the Waikato River is special, just before it flows down the Huka Falls about 500 metres away. Very designer courses with a pork pate entree, followed by roasted lamb as the main with a chocolate fondant for dessert followed by coffee and some complementary treats. Everything was beautifully presented and we both had a most enjoyable lunch. At all times throughout our visit we were made to feel most welcome.
It seems not worth, with their price and reputation.
As a member of Relais & Chateaux, they must work hard to improve their services! I think that the poor services is related to senior managemant, too proud ...
Chef is young ?! The "taste" need upgraded.
The staff to the management, housekeepers & gardeners flawlessly performed their duties & tasks at the Huka Lodge!
The food was a sheer delight with multi course dinners prepared with precision & a choice of venues to dine.
From the lodge deck to the cloistered garden, to the exquisitely appointed dining room all with river views one can relax & truly enjoy a meal.
The rooms with French doors overlooking the rolling river beckon one sit, read, relax with coffee or a late afternoon cocktail. A Large soaking tub in the bathroom is perfect after a morning hike or fly fishing expedition!
Not to be missed is the hike to Huka Falls then journey on to the town of Taupo, beauty & exercise all in the same day,
We visited 2019 in early April just as fall was beginning to arrive, minimal crowds!
Huka Lodge stands head and shoulders above all other places we visited in New Zealand. That is high praise, since we stayed at several other outstanding, luxurious places. Huka is perfectly located on the banks of the Waikato river, just a few miles before it runs into Lake Taupo. The vegetation is beautiful and protects and shelters the lodge from the surrounding area, as well as the main road. This provides quiet, tranquility and privacy. Each room stands in isolation, separate from the main lodge and the other rooms, except for the room immediately adjacent to it. The rooms are spacious, with full-length, floor to ceiling French doors looking out on the river. Large bathrooms with his and hers sinks, a large tub, separate shower and separate toilet provide comfort, privacy and the option for two people to get ready simultaneously. The walk-in closet is also quite spacious, with room for several pieces of luggage. There is a coffee bar and a minibar, with beverages available on an honor system. The main lodge has multiple dining areas and a full bar. Meals are carefully prepared: a breakfast buffet can be supplemented by a l a carte items. Lunch and dinner are pre-set chefs tasting menus, all included in the lodging price. Cocktails and sundowners are complementary and are served with fresh canapes. Wines at meals are separate: the Lodge has an excellent selection of wines, both local and international.