Aratiatia Dam is located 12.5km from Central Taupo. A short drive that is worth while to see the impressive amount of water pass through the control gates and create the Aratiatia rapids. Aratiatia Dam is where the Waikato River falls around 30 metres over a kilometre.
This natural drop is taken advantage of by a dam to produce hydroelectric power. 80,000 litres of Waikato river water pass through the gates per second creating hydroelectricity for the operators of Mercury Energy.
Aratiatia Dam opening can be very dangerous which is why we recommend no swimming near the rapids. fatalities have sadly occurred in the past when swimmers did not listen to the warning siren that sounds before the gates open.
There are plenty of vantage points to see the Aratiatia Dam control gates open. Most popular view point is on the bridge beside the dam but you can also take a 5 minute walk along the river and see from the track alongside the river,
Aratiatia Dam Control Gates open daily (3o minutes before Cruise departs) ...
10am, 12pm, 2pm all year round and also 4pm in Summer months