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.
Create a full Taupo itinerary
map

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.

Plans in Taupo by other users

9 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA November, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: November, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Taupo BY A USER FROM SPAIN April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in North Island BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 14 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM THAILAND April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 21 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 10 days in North Island BY A USER FROM INDIA April, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND June, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Rotorua & Taupo District BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND April, kids, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 12 days in New Zealand BY A USER FROM INDIA May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in New Zealand & Australia BY A USER FROM BRAZIL September, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We hit the Aratiatia Rapids by a random choice at 5PM and found out that the last opening was some 4.00PM. With the damn gates closed, the view was very boring comparing to expectations. If you have s...  more »
  • Amazing - they were draining the dam, so it was in full force. Soo beautiful, calming and mesmerising . Worth a visit  more »
  • My 12 year old was rapt by the process, as we all were. The siren added to the anticipation. The volume of water is amazing. And the transformation from quiet little pools to the great rush and roar o...  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.