Events in Rotorua

Filter Events by Sub-Category

Please select a Date first.

Search for a company in Rotorua

Aratiatia Rapids


Points of Interest

Visitors should arrive at least 5 minutes prior to the 'dam release times'.

Visitors can watch the Aratiatia Rapids form several times a day when the dam gates of the Aratiatia River open up.

It's an impressive sight as the turquoise waters surge through the dam and fill up the shallow river bed over the course of around 15 minutes. 

At the site of the Aratiatia Rapids, the Waikato River falls 28 metres over one kilometre with the surging rapids being harnessed for environmentally sustainable hydroelectric power.

The rapids also provided the scenery to a few of the most exciting scenes from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Fans of the movie may recall the scene of the dwarves escaping from the Elves by hiding in barrels which floated down stream.

There are two viewing platforms to witness the water action. The mid-viewing platform is a 5 minute walk from the car park while the top-viewing platform is a steeper 10 minute walk. 

Viewing Times:

Summer Hours: 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm

Winter Hours: 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm

Contact Aratiatia Rapids


630 Aratiatia Road, Taupo

View Larger Map


  • Free

Best For Whom

  • All Ages

Best For What

  • A View To Die For
  • Off The Beaten Path
  • The Local Experience


My Lists

Create New Guide


Mini Guides

Login to create your guides for Rotorua.

Add to My Guide

Create New Guide



Create & Share your Guide to Rotorua with friends and family!

Add your recommended places to visit by browsing the website and pressing the icon.

Create your own guide of favourite 'must see' places

Earn your Local Expert badge by Sharing your guides with others

Get your guide seen by submitting it to the Mini Guides section


We Are Part of the My Guide Network!

My Guide Rotorua is part of the global My Guide Network of Online & Mobile travel guides.

We are now in 120+ Destinations and Growing. If you are interested in becoming a local travel partner and would like to find out more then click for more info about our Website Business Opportunity.

Nearby Destinations