Waikato River

Waikato river map
Making of Huka falls and Aratiatia Rapids

Waikato River is New Zealand’s longest river.

Facts on the Waikato River…
Length: 435km
Start (Headwater): Mt Ruapehu
Finishes: Port Waikato
Passes through: Taupo, Huka Falls, Aratiatia Rapids, Cambridge, Lake Karapiro, Ngaruawahia, Huntly

Having the largest river in the region also gives this area the status of the largest generator of Power, eight hydro dams generating 1450 Megawatts of elecricity. Add in the Geothermal Power also in areas like Taupo literrally makes the central North island a powerful region.
If you put a cup of water in the river at Ruapehu it would take several weeks to make its way to  Port Waikato. With no dams to contend with it would only take 7 days.

Taupo is really lucky as the Waikato River creates two of the best known natural attractions in New Zealand. Huka Falls and Aratiatia Rapids. Huka falls has over 200,000 litres of water cascading over it every second. Thousands of visitors to Taupo visit the Huka falls every year, I can only imagine how many hashtags, snapchats and facebook posts the Huka falls appear in. Aratiatia Dam openings 4 times a day which is getting more and more people visting every year. Both Huka falls and Aratiatia Rapids are an easy drive from central Taupo and even Rotorua.
A great alternative is walking or Mountain Biking. Check out our easy to follow maps – Directions