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Aratiatia Rapids

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Address: Huka Falls Road, Taupo, New Zealand
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Beautiful

A short drive from Huka Falls is the Aratiatia Dam. They release the water every couple of hours and it's an amazing thing to see. Definitely recommend getting there ~15 minutes... read more

Reviewed 14 December 2016
PBMtravels
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Denver
via mobile
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758 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 716: English reviews
Denver
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviewed 14 December 2016 via mobile

A short drive from Huka Falls is the Aratiatia Dam. They release the water every couple of hours and it's an amazing thing to see. Definitely recommend getting there ~15 minutes or more before a release so you can see the river empty and fully experience the drastic change in water flow. Also, explore the area and walk up to... More 

Helpful?
Thank PBMtravels
Newark, California
Level Contributor
104 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2016

This is a fascinating feature to watch with four chances each day. Watching the water released every two hours starting at 10 AM is thrilling but be early to get a parking spot and good viewing position on the bridge.

Helpful?
1 Thank kiwiman13
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 December 2016 via mobile

They open the dam a few times each day more in summer and it creates a nice little rapid river that has been used in a number of films. It's worth the short drive from Taupo even better combine with a look at the near by Huka falls. Interesting to see the water levels rise and create rapid water scene... More 

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Thank Tony C
Napier, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand
Level Contributor
66 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2016

The flood gates open four times a day so check the website for times. This is the location of the barrel rider scene in the Hobbit. Massive amounts of water churn down the river and it is a sight to behold. Take a bottle of water as it can be quite hot and there is nowhere close to buy drinks.

Helpful?
Thank Nathan M
Durban, South Africa
Level Contributor
322 reviews
132 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2016

This almost dry gully is impressively filled in summer four times daily (10am 12pm 2pm & 4pm – Winter 10am 12pm 2pm) with water that is released from the dam over the Waikato river just upstream – best viewing place seemed to be the lower end– you need to arrive a little early as it gets quite busy and parking... More 

Helpful?
Thank GDay1044
Kaitaia, Northland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
87 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 December 2016

The Huka falls and Aratiata Rapids are a must see when coming to Taupo. The colour of the water is spectacular and the noise comes as quite a surprise too. great photo opportunities too. Definitely worth a visit to this unique attraction

Helpful?
Thank Melody P
Mildura, Australia
Level Contributor
288 reviews
124 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2016

This is free make sure you are there early as the best vantage point is a few minutes walk, be careful crossing the road from the car park Check the times as the dam is only released at certain times. No facilities available

Helpful?
Thank Ian M
Whyalla, Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 December 2016

This was interesting and a great photo opportunity but the down side is you have to be there at the right time. The dam is opened at certain times and if your not at the front its pretty hard to see.

Helpful?
Thank inonufing
Wellington, New Zealand
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviewed 3 December 2016

This is definitely worth a detour for this Free event. Get there in enough time before the sluice gates open to find a good viewpoint in the gorge. Take a couple of photos of the empty gorge and then others - or a video, as it fills up as the water is released. It is spectacular to watch, and to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Susan E
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
94 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2016

Water is released 4 times a day for about 15-20 minutes. You can enjoy the spectacle from the bridge over the dam or at various points along a bush path - the lower spot giving the best views as the water cascades down the river

Helpful?
Thank LKay54

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Sao Carlos, SP
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