Aratiatia Rapids Lookout Walk

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The Aratiatia Rapids Lookout Walk is located near Taupo in the Central North Island.

It follows alongside the Aratiatia Dam’s spillway as the water makes it way back into the Waikato River.   The Aratiatia Rapids Lookout Walk is a straightforward 10-minute one-way walk to the upper lookout 620 metres away from the carpark.   Watch the spillway gates open for an exciting view of the rapidly flowing water; it’s breathtaking to see.

Explore the Local Area

What better way to see this beautiful part of New Zealand than from the air. Suppose you’re feeling adventurous then why not try a tandem skydive.  The team at Taupo Tandem Skydiving are very experienced and will look after you while you take in the breathtaking views of the Taupo area.

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Taupo, Central North Island
  • Distance: 1.20 km
  • Time needed: 55 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Route: Round Trip
  • Elevation: 298m
  • Wet Feet: No
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Dogs: No
  • Mobile Coverage: No
  • Last Updated: November 2020

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

Summary points about this walk

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Points of interest along the walk​

Point 1: Aratiatia Rapids Lookout Walk Carpark

The carpark is very easy to find.  Parking is available on both sides of the road. To find the track, cross over the road, so you are on the downside of the river. Look downstream of the river, and 25 metres to your right is the start of the track. If you can time your walk to just before 10 am 12 pm or 2 pm you will see the floodgates open.

Point 2: Viewing Platform

Now walk along this track for around ten minutes then take the track to your left. This will take you down to the gorge viewing platform. 10 am, 12 pm, 2 pm, 4 pm are the best times to see the floodgates open, in the winter the gates do not open at 4 pm. If you have time up your sleeve, go back to the turnoff and turn left and walk out to the lookout. This is about 20 minutes. This lookout was built by the powerhouse workers, who lived right behind you. All you will see now is sealed roads and hectares of Blackberry’s.




What sort of walking and hiking gear will you need

We’ve partnered with Macpac outdoor walking & hiking gear to bring you the very best products designed exclusively for our New Zealand climate. They’ll ship for FREE within NZ on orders over $100 (if under $100 it’s only $5). Worldwide international shipping is available except to the USA. Bulky orders will be $20.

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