Aratiatia Rapids, Taupo

4.5
#1 of 31 in Sightseeing in Waikato Region
Landmark Tourist Spot
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 Traveler Rating
803 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • I cannot believe I have missed it all these years. I have been to Taupo so many times but never been to Aratiatia Rapids. May be because I never asked what it was all about. Only if I knew that I coul...  more »
  • From the bridge, from the viewing platforms, anywhere within the safety of all. This is one of the top attractions you cannot miss. We are locals and are still amazed by the force of the water, the vi...  more »
  • This was one of my top to do list As mention coming from a city like mine This is definitely a interesting experience for me. The damn itself was beautiful, the catchment area was also scenic to walk ...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Somehow always mesmerising and refreshing to watch.
  • While everyone is focused on the dam opening, the bed rock is also fascinating with spherulites of crystallized obsidian. Hinting at an ancient volcanic dome pre Taupo erruption.
  • Cool to see, only downside was waiting for it to happen. Water was a very cool colour to see.

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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.
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