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Aratiatia Rapids

Huka Falls Road, Taupo, New Zealand
Review Highlights
a free event

omg what a wonderful experience see it with no water wait and watch the kids will love it takes... read more

Reviewed 20 December 2016
Brisbane, Australia
via mobile
Awesome dam release

Legend has it that they release the dam every 2 hours between 10am and 4pm to show visitors how the... read more

Reviewed 18 December 2016
Bristol, United Kingdom
via mobile
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  • Excellent60%
  • Very good32%
  • Average6%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“dam gates” (40 reviews)
Huka Falls Road, Taupo, New Zealand
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Reviews (782)
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121 - 130 of 739 reviews

Reviewed 20 December 2016 via mobile

omg what a wonderful experience see it with no water wait and watch the kids will love it takes about 5 mins for the water to flow well worth it

Thank Bubblybev123
Reviewed 18 December 2016 via mobile

Legend has it that they release the dam every 2 hours between 10am and 4pm to show visitors how the river would have looked before they installed the dam. It was exciting to watch as they played a siren before the waves came crashing into...More

1  Thank ExplorerSarahJane
Reviewed 14 December 2016

It was spectacular watching water gushing from the dam when the spill gates were opened and seeing the narrow gorge getting filled with the turbulent water was a treat for the eyes.

Thank homeliaf
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...More

Thank PBMtravels
Reviewed 13 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.

1  Thank kiwiman13
Reviewed 11 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...More

Thank Tony C
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...More

Thank Nathan M
Reviewed 8 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...More

Thank GDay1044
Reviewed 8 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

Thank Melody P
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

Thank Ian M
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Jader S
What times the dam opens?
27 November 2016|
Answer Show all 3 answers
Response from Lunalacrima | Reviewed this property |
Summer release hours: 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm Winter release hours: 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm
Gabi W
Hi! I'd love to know if you guys recommend the upper or lower viewpoint? Also- are the viewing spots clearly marked and easy to find? Thanks so much :)
21 December 2015|
Answer Show all 8 answers
Response from Libertybelle21 | Reviewed this property |
Hi its very easy to find and we had a great view from the bridge when the gates open parking spot right near the bridge. Impressive.The sirens warn you when they are about to open. . Enjoy.