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Make your own way to the Waikato River—New Zealand’s longest—where you are suited up with spray jackets and receive a safety briefing.

Climb into a powerful, maneuverable jet boat and pull into the current of the Waikato River, speeding upstream to the Aratiatia Power Station, then spinning back downstream toward a series of churning rapids.

Hold on tight as you encounter the Washing Machine and Hay Barn, exciting rapids in a narrow stretch of the Waikato River, and continue to the powerful Nga Awa Purua Rapids, where your driver surfs the jet boat on standing waves. Continue downstream to see the Waikato River’s thermal activity, as well as some gorgeous riverside scenery, before powering back upstream on the exciting return trip to the jet boat base camp.

Locations visited
Rapids Jet

Speed through white-water rapids and straightaways on a thrilling Waikato River jet boat ride that hits up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour through some of the river’s narrowest parts. The jet boat spins, banks, and makes hairpin turns, then surfs the powerful waves at Nga Awa Purua Rapids. Sit back, hold on, and keep warm with your spray jacket and heated handrails.

  • High-adrenaline ride is an exciting way to see the Waikato River 
  • Combine great scenery with a thrilling boat trip
  • Maneuverable jet boats are limited to 11 passengers
  • Multiple daily departure times to fit your schedule
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All reviewsjet boat ridegreat funmy partnerfriendly staffadrenaline rushwaikato rivernew zealandaratiatia rapidsgreat photoschange of clothesthrilling experiencethanks guyssouth islandheated hand railsawesome experienceloved every minutephoto package
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1 - 5 of 588 reviews
Reviewed yesterday
Loved the rapids

Had a blast on the river. The team was absolutely amazing, despite never being on a jetboat before I felt totally safe the entire ride. To anyone wondering if they should do it or not, I say just do it! You won't regret it -...More

Thank Ella G
Reviewed yesterday
Awesome! Rapids are incredible

Fantastic experience. Loved the rush of the water and the rapids. And the ride was so much fun. We had a great bunch of people in the boat. The water is so clear and it's such an experience going through the rapids.

Thank 78henrika
Reviewed 1 week ago
Fun for all

The boat is powerful and spins around a lot with heated bars to hold onto. The amount of the river it covers is rather limited, I would imagine because it is not navigable further down. $25 is the minimum photo package and seems to be...More

Thank Susan E
Rapids Jet T, Front Office Manager at Rapids Jet, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thank you for the review Susan. Glad you enjoyed your time on the jet boat and your guide was friendly. Our trip covers about 16 km of the Waikato River, stopping to show you the highlights along the way, giving you 35 minutes of unique...More

Reviewed 1 week ago
A worth while experience!

Gary our driver was brilliant! My family had a great time. I've never gone on the rapid jet boat before. Having gone on the Huka Jet I was expecting it to be similar but Rapid jet exceeded my expectations! The scenery was fantastic and the...More

Thank Joshua N
Rapids Jet T, Front Office Manager at Rapids Jet, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Cheers Joshua! We would love to get you back out on the Jet Boat! So glad we exceeded your expectations! Jet boating the rapids is definitely a unique and thrilling experience for all ages! The Waikato River is a special place, glad we could share...More

Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Today my mum(65) took my kids aged 12,10 and 7 on the Taupo Rapids Jet. They all had an amazing time. The kids couldn't stop talking about how much fun it was. The driver told them about the history of the river, showed them some...More

Thank Kj L
Rapids Jet T, Front Office Manager at Rapids Jet, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

It was so lovely to have your family out on the jet boat yesterday! Our driver, James, loved your sons enthusiasm! Please come again!

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