Aratiatia Rapids Viewpoint

Aratiatia Rapids Viewpoint


13 Rankers Reviews

11 Face-to-Face

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5 minute walk

Aratiatia Rapids Viewpoint is a very short walk to watch the impressive dam release of the Waikato River.

The spillway at the Aratitia dam is opened daily at 10:00 am, 12:00 noon, 2:00 pm (winter and summer) and also 4:00 pm in summer.


Feature Value Info


DOC Central North Island

Central government organisation


North IslandTaupo RegionTaupo


  • Walking
  • Free


Amy Lord's avatar

Amy Lord

Ranking: 5/10

The water was beautiful but didn’t meet my expectations. It’s not really rushing out but more filled up a large area quickly. The Huka Falls was better but worth the trip if in the area during the times.

Reviewed over 4 years ago

Mikkel Palleson's avatar

Mikkel Palleson


Ranking: 7/10

It is nothing compared to Huka Falls. It is free and nice to see, but be there on time. It filled up slowly and lacked something dramatic.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Jenny and Till's avatar

Jenny and Till


Ranking: 10/10

Spectacular view! Very impressive when the valley gets flooded by the ice-blue water. Much less people as at the Huka Falls.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

Caro G's avatar

Caro G

Ranking: 8/10

Interesting place. The key to appreciating it 100% is to arrive to the bridge 15 mins before. Then walk 10 minutes to the middle view point until the water is released and once the first water pools are full walk as fast as possible to the highest view point located 5 minutes walk from the middle point.

Reviewed over 6 years ago

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Bob Fontaine's avatar

Bob Fontaine

Ranking: 10/10

Great! Make sure to arrive 15 minutes prior to dam opening. The first viewpoint is an easy 5 minutes walk. The second one (higher + little more challenging walk) is 8 minutes walk from first viewpoint (so 13 minutes from car parking area). People who watched "The Hobbit - Desolation of Smaug" will recognise this place ;-). You can also access the higher viewpoint via an asphalted access further up the main road for wheelchairs and so on. A must see when near Taupo.

Reviewed almost 7 years ago

Steffen's avatar



Ranking: 8/10

Close to the same are nice walkways, dam opens every few hours, which has become an event for tourists, more impressive than the Huka Falls.

Reviewed about 8 years ago and experienced in February 2014

Claudia Mueller's avatar

Claudia Mueller


Ranking: 8/10

Impressive how the little creek rises to a kind of river.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

Anita Aleva's avatar

Anita Aleva


Ranking: 9/10

Great experience to see the water coming through the dam to fill the valley.

Reviewed over 9 years ago and experienced in February 2011

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Gillian MacLaren's avatar

Gillian MacLaren

United Kingdom

Ranking: 8/10

Some great lookouts - get there in time to walk to the higher vantage points. Also strolling by Lake Taupo - great ambience.

Reviewed over 10 years ago

Nina Bille-Knudsen's avatar

Nina Bille-Knudsen


Ranking: 9/10


Reviewed over 10 years ago and experienced in November 2011

J P Paulvast's avatar

J P Paulvast

New Zealand

Ranking: 8/10

on set hours the overflow of water takes the natural way. Wonderful to see and learn about 'White Power'.

Reviewed over 12 years ago

Vanessa's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

This walk is great taking in the opening of the Dam gates, filling the rapids and pretty Huka Falls with good viewing points. Stunning.

Reviewed over 12 years ago and experienced in November 2009

jeffandlou's avatar


United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Watch the dam open and fill the gorge with water - pretty impressive!

Reviewed over 12 years ago

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick

Rankers Owner