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

Great boat and Simon our driver was great fun and kept everyone safe and informed. Jumping the boat on the pressure wave was the highlight the photos taken by Soph were great and we have already sent a few home.

Wayne A - Mar 13th, 2017

We loved our Rapids Jet ride, Simon our driver was very informative and the ladies at the desk were really friendly and helpful. The river is incredible and such a great experience doing it from the jet boat

Fleur L - Mar 13th, 2017

Thrilling, fun and wet! Best seats were at the back if you like getting flung around and getting wet. The driver, Simon, was informative and fun. The photos were well worth buying with some great closeup shots. Will defiantly go again

Terri-and-Co-2017 - Mar 13th, 2017