Our Locations > Rivers > TaupōAratiatia Rapids


Thousands of litres of water is released from the Aratiatia Dam creating a spectacular flow of water through a narrow gorge.

Aratiatia Rapids has been used in The Hobbit and Yogi Bear due to the fact the spillway can be turned from a dry gorge into a fast flowing waterfall which is manageable with a raft.

Aratiatia Rapids are formed when the dam gates of the Waikato River are opened a few times a day. The Waikato River falls 28 metres in the space of one kilometre. The surging rapids have been harnessed to produce environmentally sustainable hydroelectric power. Rapids Jet have helped crew with access in the past and are a great contact for the area.

Summer release hours (October to March) - 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm

Winter release hours (April to September) - 10am, 12pm, 2pm

Key facts

Permitting requirement

Rapids Jet, Dave Hooten, Iwi, Amplify Taupo

Distance from Auckland

270km

Key Features

Dam, River, Forest,

Distance from Taupo

12km