Aratiatia Rapids, Taupo

Categories: Landmarks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.4/5 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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  • If you are fortunate to get to the Rapids at the time they release the water and you are standing on the lower view point, you will hear this high pitch siren announcing a wall of water heading your w...  read more »
  • Was expecting a little more than we saw. The river took a long time to fill up and for the rapids to start so the thrill was lost. When the water eventually reached a certain level it started to spill...  read more »
  • This is one of those free things that packs a bigger punch than a lot of the paid attractions. Go early, have a look at the impressive rock formations at low water, then see the damn open full bore. B...  read more »
  • 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).
  • Great to see how the water released (only few times a day) fills the quiet rocky stream into a raging blue river for a while. And with some imagination you can see how some shots of this river were used in the barrel scene in the Hobbit movie.
  • Free! Very impressive when the dam opens, but quite pretty anyway. Worth a visit even if not at the floodgates opening time.
  • Great attraction and worth a visit if you time it right when the gates are opened. The water falls 28m over the space of a kilometre, generating plenty of white water. Summer Release: 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm Winter Release: 10am, 12pm, 2pm
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