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


Our Boats


Our Team


River Features

Huka Falls

Aratiatia Dam & Rapids

Creating fantastic memories

Couldn't stop smiling! Absolutely fantastic, adrenalin rushing all round great time. Very safe. Fully professional service. Had a few stops along the way for info on the river. Heaps of 360 spins. Great value. Usb can be bought of all pics and video they take of you for just $40. Well worth it. Have a go, you'll love it!

CaraBradley - Sep 20th, 2017

We had a cracking time at Rapids Jet boat! We've been on some other jet boat rides in NZ, Australia and Fiji and this we easily the best. The power and the speed which our driver Simon navigated the rapids was spectacular, and in between the rapids either doing 360s or just flying across the flat water at top speed was awesome. We had our 7yo boy on the boat and he had a ball. The round trip up and down the river goes for 35 minutes and they make every second count going up and down the rapids or short breaks with some great insight about the river. The heated hand rails also a nice touch if its cold on the river. Thanks you Simon and the team. Highly recommend.

Markm - Nov 11th, 2017

A MUST DO WHILST IN TAUPO I have done this 3 times now and each time has been different as the river has been at various levels, and each time I have learnt something new.The staff are always friendly and genuine, the drivers have been awesome and shared a lot knowledge with us.We have been able to go home with some wickard photo's and big smiles.Although I have done this 3 times, I will definitely be in again when our next lot of visitors are here.A must do when in Taupo, it’s an awesome location, a thrilling ride and will not disappoint!

annaperfectangel - Sep 20th, 2017