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“Excellent - check the dam opening times” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aratiatia Rapids

Aratiatia Rapids
Huka Falls Road, Taupo, New Zealand
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Ranked #3 of 18 Attractions in Taupo
Type: Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Outdoors
Attraction details
UK
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
“Excellent - check the dam opening times”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2012

This really is a one off attraction - check with your hotel or i-site about the dam opening hours(this summer it was 10am 12 noon 2pm and 4pm). Get there early and walk to one of the signposted viewing areas - not a difficult or long walk just a bit uneven in places. This gives you the chance to look at the rapids before the water flows through the sluice gates and fills up the rapids before your eyes - there is a siren sounded at 10 minutes and 5 minutes before the gates open so you have some warning. When the water starts to flow it takes a little while to fill up the pools before the rocks in the gorge are submerged, you can get some great time lapse photos. If you are unable to walk to the viewing areas you can still watch from the top of the dam. Thoroughly recommend this.

Visited January 2012
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English first
shropshire
Top Contributor
111 reviews 111 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
“Amazing Views”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2012

Just make sure to visit when they open the dam gates. A nice walk to the best viewing points.

Visited February 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Rapids Alright”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2012

Amazing to be able to see how quickly the water level rises in the stream, to become a torrent of a river.

Visited January 2012
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Blenheim, New Zealand
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Well worth the 30 minutes and it is free!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

It was quite amazing to watch the rapids form when the spill gates are opened. We only found about about this by reading the Great Lake Taupo visitors guide which we picked up from the i-site.

Effectively, they open the spill gates of a dam that floods a canyon forming rapids. The Canyon is quite spectatular without the water and it is amazing to watch the water slowly flood the canyon forming impressive rapids.

We watched from the mid level lookout, and I would recommend getting there 20 minutes so you have time to walk down to the lookout. I think the view is better than staying on the bridge.

Visited January 2012
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Auckland
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“An unexpected show by man and mother nature”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

We stumbled across the Aratiatia Rapids when we were in the Aratitia dam area to board a cruise on the Waikato River. Wow! This was great. At set times of the day, the dam gates are raised to allow an enormous volume of water to flow out of the catchment lake downriver from the Huka Falls. This water flow quickly fills the almost dry river bed below. Amazing to watch!

Visited January 2012
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