Aratiatia Rapids, Taupo
(4.5/5 based on 600+ reviews on the web)
Marvel at the forces of nature (and engineering) at Aratiatia Rapids, a section of river diverted by a power station. Though normally a calm stream thanks to the nearby dam, the diversion gates open several times per day, allowing the river to flow at its full speed. As the gates open, you'll see 90,000 liters (19,800 gal) per second rage through the rocky gorge, frothing and bubbling as it tumbles down the slope. Hike your way up to one of the surrounding rock bluffs for a view overlooking the river and rapids. You can reach the site via a local bus route traveling between the area's popular attractions. For Aratiatia Rapids and beyond, use our Taupo vacation trip planner to get the most from your Taupo vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • They open the dam a few times each day more in summer and it creates a nice little rapid river that has been used in a number of films. It's worth the short drive from Taupo even better combine with a...  more »
  • The flood gates open four times a day so check the website for times. This is the location of the barrel rider scene in the Hobbit. Massive amounts of water churn down the river and it is a sight to b...  more »
  • This almost dry gully is impressively filled in summer four times daily (10am 12pm 2pm & 4pm – Winter 10am 12pm 2pm) with water that is released from the dam over the Waikato river just upstream – bes...  more »
Google
  • Always worth a visit if you're in the area around the gate opening times. Gives a good appreciation of how a flash flood happens too
  • Impressive to see how the flooding is happening. Check summer and winter schedules before arriving. There are various good view points (not just the bridge next to the car park).
  • Go for the dam opening at 10, 12, or 2 PM. Arrive 15 min early to hike up to a viewing point. Mid point is fine, no need for high point.
  • The water level rises alot, but it is not very rapid like, rather slow. A scene from the Hobbit was filmed there.
  • beautiful spot and magnificent to watch the floodgates open and the rapids reappear. Well worth the drive out from Taupo.