Aratiatia Rapids, Taupo

4.5
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. Use our Taupo day trip tool to visit Aratiatia Rapids on your trip to Taupo, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
Create an itinerary including Aratiatia Rapids
map
Aratiatia Rapids Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
850 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We were lucky enough to be there when they opened the gates to release the water. It was quite amazing to watch. To see the calm water turn into rapids was great to watch. The area is beautiful and I ...  more »
  • Very important to be punctual when the gates open!! (Try to catch the first slot at 10am as there are less people at the lookouts). Personally, I think the mid lookout point is the best. Once you reac...  more »
  • Beautiful to see . Highly recommend stopping to take it in. We stop here regularly and never gets boring .  more »
Google
  • Timing is everything when watching the water release. so get there at least 20 min early to get a good spot. Best location is the 1st lookout or on the bridge.
  • This is absolutely magnificent to watch! The water gushes in to fill the ravine in minutes. Spectacular! I love the colour of the water.
  • Be at the dam at the right time to see the sluice gates opened. Lovely walk to the gorge. Great walk for all ages. Public restrooms will be a great and welcome addition.
  • Great little walk with great views 😊
  • Whilst it's not for swimming in this magnificent 2hrly release of water through the lava rocks at Aratiatia is stunning. It's one of the musts in Taupo if you're visiting but stay behind the barriers. We always take our international visitors to see them

Plan your trip to Taupo

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Taupo

As a resort town, Taupo offers a diversity of accommodations. Boutique, luxury, and spa hotels are easily found in the town center, while some of the more luxurious options are set farther out in secluded spots reachable by car or taxi. Backpacker hostels and rental apartments provide good options for those wanting to get up into the mountains, or out onto the lake to enjoy the activities.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Taupo by other users

14 days in North Island BY A USER FROM AFGHANISTAN January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA January, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 43 days in Hanga Roa, New Zealand & Australia BY A USER FROM VENEZUELA December, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA December, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, kids, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in North Island BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA August, teens, kids, outdoors, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids, outdoors, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM BRAZIL June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SRI LANKA December, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, culture, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 18 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans