About Us Rapids Jet locally Owned

The Jet Boat is a New Zealand icon, and jet boating is a favourite activity for Kiwis. Experience jet boating on the best white water rapids in New Zealand with Rapids Jet.

Kiwi owners/drivers, Russell Poppe (Rusty), James Tazewell (Jimmy) and Garry Stephen (Gazza) have thousands of hours experience driving jet boats both in New Zealand and overseas. Since 1993 over 200,000 passengers have safely experienced the thrill of real white water jet boating. You can be sure that you are in the safe and skilled hands necessary to navigate this spectacular part of the Waikato River. Rapids Jet’s safe operational plan is unique, including a riverside Safety Officer/photographer with every trip – We own it – We drive it, We care!

Rapids Jet jet boats ride the biggest rapids for commercial jet boating in New Zealand, and makes it look easy. Shoot through the narrowest canyon on the Waikato River, be exhilarated by the spins on crystal clear waters, spot a trout and surf and play in the pressure waves of the awesome Nga Awa Purua Rapids.

Conveniently located just 15 minutes drive north of Taupo and 50 minutes drive south of Rotorua, just off State Highway 5, the Rapids Jet ride takes place in the geothermal wonderland of the Waikato River, home to many species of native birdlife, thermal pools and native bush. Take in a slice of New Zealand history viewing the Aratiatia Rapids up close from the boat, which were of great significance to early Maori settlers. The Aratiatia Rapids release water at an incredible 90,000 litres per second, which provides a unique and unmissable demonstration of nature’s raw power and incredible beauty.

An adrenaline rush is guaranteed! Experience the thrill of jet boating with your Kiwi guides Rusty, Gazza and Jimmy, Rapids Jet is New Zealand’s best jet boat ride.
We look forward to sharing the joy of real jet boating with you.

Rusty, Gazza and Jimmy

Our History

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Our Boats

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Our Team

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River Features

Huka Falls

Aratiatia Dam & Rapids

Creating fantastic memories

Took my Sister and our Nephew and Niece from America today on this ride. I have done a lot of Jet Boating and this experience rates right up there as one of the best I've ever experienced.. From the great professional friendly staff, to the beautifully balanced boat, to the driver who was awesome. The thrills of going down the rapids, 180 degree turns, fast boating, exciting driving, to learning some of the history of the river and surrounding area, This is an experience I would recommend for any one as one TO DO if your coming to Taupo

Karen M - Jun 23rd, 2017

Rapids Jet staff were fantastic, down to earth, lots of fun. The ride itself is great, with a few stops along the way for the driver to talk you through some of the movie locations in this spot (namely The Hobbit) and about the river. It was informative and fun. Lots of 'rapids' to jet over.

Lyse99 - Jun 11th, 2017

The customer service was amazing and the ride was even better. Would recommend to everyone and would love to do it again.

Kodie W - Jun 23rd, 2017