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

Second time we have been on rapid jet and just as good if not better than when Dave took us 😳 🤪 Shannon took us on this trip he did a fantastic job very skillful driver and very entertaining great knowledge of the river and surrounding area, Rapid jet is awesome!!!Very well set up and professional in what they do, if you have been once and think oh I’ve already done it go and do it again it’s so cool the second time!!!! Thanks Rapid Jet

Aiden Hoffman – Facebook - Jan 21st, 2018

Amazing fun! We deliberated between taking our friends to Huka and Rapid. We have done the Huka and Shotover previously. Huka and Shotover are really good fun! Rapid is great fun, exhilarating and so much better value for money! The staff are great and in particular Shannon our driver, who was amazing! Safe, informative and a fun character!Taupo tourism operators - Shannon is your benchmark how an employee should engage with tourists! Just brilliant!!

Mark Evans - Mar 6th, 2018

Absolute highlight of my holiday! The team at Rapids Jet Taupo were fantastic. They were professional, organized, knowledgeable and friendly we were so impressed.Shannon our boat driver was exceptional, a very talented driver but also a great tour guide with a brilliant sense of humour.

Fihelen – Trip Advisor - Mar 5th, 2018