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“Just add water...”
Review of Aratiatia Rapids

Aratiatia Rapids
Ranked #3 of 72 things to do in Taupo
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 April 2018

This is a gorgeous spot about 15 mins North of Taupo off SH5 (ie...on the way to Rotorua) with decent parking and then you take a short walk to viewing points of the rapids. Immediately next to the parking area you can see the dam itself. The bush walk is lovely and is easy BUT....don't wear jandals as the ground underfoot is rocky and uneven in places. There are 2 viewing points called (somewhat unimaginatively) the mid viewing point and the top viewing point. Neither is hard to get to so definitely check out both as they do offer quite different views. The views when the dam is closed are just beautiful but if there when they open the gates (10am, 12pm, 2pm and also 4pm in summer) you get to see 'the rapids' and it is well worth it. But if you can't be there at those times it is still a lovely place to check out. If there to see the rapids my tip would be to start at the mid viewing point and be there as the gates open...enjoy that for a few minutes (upto 10) and then make your way to the top viewing point to see a different outlook (it takes a surprisingly long time for the water to filter through the gorge from one viewing point to the next). Also, if you are local or on holiday with your dog you can walk him/her along this track.

Thank kristabel2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"flood gates"
in 52 reviews
"dam opens"
in 39 reviews
"viewing platform"
in 56 reviews
"raging torrent"
in 36 reviews
"the river"
in 111 reviews
"dam release"
in 25 reviews
"opening times"
in 21 reviews
"four times"
in 19 reviews
"gates opened"
in 10 reviews
"water release"
in 20 reviews
"water level"
in 17 reviews
"certain times"
in 11 reviews
"car park"
in 59 reviews
"vantage point"
in 15 reviews
"great free attraction"
in 10 reviews
"free activity"
in 18 reviews
"power station"
in 16 reviews
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Reviewed 4 April 2018

These rapids are not as spectacular as you might expect. Granted that they don't cost anything to view, we drove a good distance out of our way to see them and we were disappointed. I would recommend going to Huka Falls upstream instead as they are far more breathtakingly powerful.

Thank Brian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Make sure you go about 10mins before the dam is to release. Get a good spot on the bridge, or walk up the track to see it from a different view.
Amazing how much water is released.

Thank aussiesharon12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2018

Took the high view point to watch the dam open. Quite an event to see a gentle, low river turn into a rushing torrent in minutes. No charge.

Thank calnor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 April 2018

I really enjoyed seeing the dam opened at Aratiatia rapids. The photos don't do it justice. You need to be there to hear the quiet water gradually get louder and louder. It was great.

Thank Yvonne B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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