The volume of water passing through Huka Falls is mind-boggling. © Great Lake Taupō

Marvel at the power of water on the Huka Falls to Aratiatia Rapids track


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Experience the intense power and energy of water, as the Waikato River is squeezed through dams and rapids in Taupō.

The best way to fully appreciate the mind-boggling volume of water is to begin at the famous Huka Falls. 

220,000 litres of water per second funnel through the narrow rock channel  – enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool in 11 seconds – before plunging 11 metres into a roiling mass of currents.

From the falls, follow the seven-kilometre track past the last viewing area and you can walk or mountain bike (carefully, as it’s shared use) along cliff tops and through native bush to the Aratiatia Rapids. 

A feat of engineering, the Aratiatia Dam harnesses the energy of the mighty river to create hydroelectric power. Try to time your arrival for the opening of the gates – in summer, water is released at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm – to experience a sedate stream turn into a raging torrent.  

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