Monday, 1 February 2016

Huka Falls to Aratiatia Rapids

Huka Falls - looking south

Huka Falls - looking North

Looking out to Wairakei Thermal Power Station (R) and the Huka Park Activity Centre (L)

Aratiatia Dam and Rapids  - before the gates are lifted

Aratiatia Dam and Rapids - starting to fill

Aratiatia Rapids

View in front of look out point - before

View in front of the lookout point - filling
Well I am back from holiday, somewhat relaxed and rested.  We had the most glorious weather, in some cases almost too hot, but were able to get out and hike and play with the kayaks, and spend some days doing nothing but reading, and playing boardgames in the shade.

The hiking part of my holiday occurred on our second day away.  We decided to walk the Huka Falls to Aratiatia Rapids, both two of my favourite places to visit when I am in Taupo, the only difference is that we usually drive to them.  In reality this is an easy 7 km (4.35 miles) walk - one way, we decided to make it a return trip,  Starting at the beautiful Huka Falls, we walked through native bush, then followed a track following the Waikato River, not next to it mind you, inland and about 5km of it was in open flat land, hardly a tree in sight for shade, which made it very difficult on the return trip, as it was one of the hottest days this summer.  Needless to say we were very pleased to get to the shaded bush area at Huka Falls upon completion of our activities.

The Aratiatia Rapids were once a natural feature on the Waikato River, however once the Aratiatia Dam was built the flow was stopped.  Three or four times a day, depending on the time of year, the dam gates are opened to release the  water pressure, in doing so they recreate the famous rapids.  As this happens the Waikato River falls 28m in the space of 1 km.  We saw the empty gorge fill and the water flowed out the gates and down the narrow gorge.

Both the Huka Falls and Aratitatia Rapids are well worth a visit at any time of the year.


  1. Oh the sweet memories! I used to ride my horse along the very track you walked! The tourists loved to stop and take photo's of us :-) It was just natural to us, but I guess I great sight for a tourist. There were some great swimming spots along the way too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Really neat photo sequence. The water is beautiful!

  3. Don't we have wonderful scenery in NZ. Lovely photos!

  4. I recognise those Falls! I visited the area a few years ago! The best 'walk' I have done was the nearby Tongariro Crossing! Have you ever done that one Julie? Tough but well worth it!

  5. Glad you had a good time, it looks like a beautiful place. There is an awful lot of water flowing through there isn't there, it must have been very loud! xx

  6. Hi,
    Welcome back.
    The water is so beautiful. I love the blue color. Your photos are well done. You captured the falls so well! Beautiful!!

  7. Lovely photos Julie, wishing I was back there now :)


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