Aratiatia Dam Loop

3.50 out of 5
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↑ 300 m
↓ 300 m
elevation (m)

Trail Description
About this trail
The Aratiatia Dam loop as described here is the best ride to take along the Waikato River from town to Huka Falls and on to the Aratiatia dam and rapids. The trail loops down the right of the river, crosses it at the dam, and come back up on the left. It combines these trails as shown on the "biketaupo" map available from the i-site: Rotary Ride to Huka Falls, the Huka to Arariatia Trail, True Left Aratiatia, Contact Lookout, Wairakei Resort Trail, Totora Gully Trail, Redwoods, Rural Delivery, Acid Drip and back to Spa Park.

The trails vary from easy to advanced but the advanced sections can be avoided by going on the road. The trails are not great examples of singletrack artistry but they are interesting and take in some stunning sights. To see the mighty Artiatia rapids flowing you need to reach the dam when the flood gates are opened which is for just fifteen minutes every two hours from 10am till 4pm during summer. Allowing time for photos at Huka Falls it will take you about one and a half to reach the dam from the trail head.

Things to look out for along the way include Huka Lodge where the rich and famous stay, the Huka Falls - they are not high but they're impressive for the way the mighty Waikato is squeezed down a narrow channel, the SH1 overpass, the prawn farm, the hydro-thermal power station and steam pipes, the jet boat giving the innocent victims their adrenalin rush, the Aratiatia dam, the Aratiatia rapids, and the redwoods.
added by Ginny_TorySingletrack
Trail Features
Trail features
  • Lift Service
  • Drinking Water
  •   Night Riding
  • Pump Track
  • Restrooms
  • Winter Fat Biking
Directions to Trailhead
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Trail Q&A
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Recommended Trails
Recommended Trails
Bowenvale Traverse Track
Rainbow Mountain Loop
Rotary Ride
Mt Victoria
Bowenvale Downhill
Huka Falls to Craters MTB Park
Whaka Forest - The Redwoods
George Denton Park & Polhill Reserve
Craters Mountain Bike Park
The Old Ghost Road
Local Info & Nearby Trails
Trail Check-ins
Trail Check-ins
what's this?
Recent Trail Check-ins     (20 total check-ins)
  Brent Leslie   on Dec 31, 2018
  Adam Humphreys   on Nov 29, 2018
  Jim Cummings   on May 17, 2018
  Jim Cummings   on Apr 29, 2018
  Jim Cummings   on Apr 28, 2018
Photo & Video Gallery (7)
Trail Photos & Videos (7)
Reviews (3)


January 7, 2019
kiwi_mtb Gramcounter  
Review: Complete this after rotary ride


September 9, 2016
fergnago Gramcounter  
Review: Good mix of single track . Gravel paths and great scenery along the river.

World Champ

February 1, 2015
Review: This is a very nice scenic-fun style of ride. It starts in Taupo, goes down to the remarkable Huka Falls, then on down beside the Waikato River - with views over a geothermal power station and much more besides - to Aratiatia dam and the rapids below it which only flow when the flood gates open every two hours from 10am to 4pm. The trail then goes back up the other side of the river where you can take the road or various bike trails back to Taupo.

Allow a full day since you'll want to take your time enjoying the sights. For a shorter ride you can cut back to Taupo from the Huka Falls...

Aratiatia Dam Loop MTB Trail 3.50 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 3 user reviews.
Trail Conditions
Trail Conditions          < / > embed