Aratiatia Rapids, Taupo

(4.5/5 based on 700 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
  • every 2 hours the open the flood gates and fill the rapids, 3 viewing points along the river. I recommend taking the Huke River cruise in between so you can see this from 2 locations, just a short wal...  more »
  • You have to get before the floodgates opening hours to see everything before the show and if they can walk around I recommend it strongly. When the floodgates open River is filled, is wonderful to go seeing as that was previously empty basin fills and water levels rise quickly. There are options to view this from the bridge or from vantage points at the top of the Hill, climbing is easy. If you go in summer do not forget to look for wild, giant and delicious raspberries. It is worth noting that the water is very clean and transparent and that this show is free.
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  • We visited in summer (the winter opening times are different) and we were so impressed we watched two opening times (1200 and 1600 (the other times were 1000 and 1400)) from two different vantage poin...  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.