Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Aratiatia Rapids

We planned out a day walk along the Waikato River - the longest river in NZ, which passes through Lake Taupo. Our starting point was the Aratiatia Rapids. These days the rapids are home to a hydro dam, one of many on the Waikato River.

Aratiatia Dam (closed)
Several times a day the dam opens letting out the water to fill up the rapids. At first I was a bit disappointed, because I was expecting a huge tidal wave of water to come crashing through. In retrospect this was pretty silly :) What actually happened was that the gates opened slightly to let water start coming through. It started as not much water, but over the course of about 10min the rapids were completely filled and much more rapids-like. It was just SO much water. Pretty cool :)

Where's all the water?
Oh here it comes!!
Scott took a sweet video of the first few minutes of filling, but our bandwidth situation is a bit rough right now, so it might have to wait until the end of the month to upload. Here's a time lapse video I found on YouTube of it. Probably about 6-8 minutes real-time:

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