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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 funadrenaline rushmy partnerwaikato riverfriendly staffnew zealanddam releasegreat photoschange of clothesthrilling experiencethanks guyssouth islandheated hand railsloved every minuteawesome experiencephoto package
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1 - 5 of 602 reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago
Jet Boat Ride

We have done quite a few jet boat rides in the South Island but this has to be the best ever for length of ride and all the spins and leaps in the air it was great.

Thank Bluez21
Reviewed 6 days ago via mobile

Great time zooming along the river. Fun jumps over the waves and exhilarating 360s. Guide provided nice balance of informed commentary and fun driving along the river.

Thank Hugh K
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile
Rapid Jet Boat

Great holiday activity for couples or a family. Friendly staff. Shared some information about the river. A must do if you are visiting the area!

Thank Torzzz
Rapids Jet T, Front Office Manager at Rapids Jet, responded to this reviewResponded 6 days ago

Thank you for the review and recommendation Torzzz! Please come again! :)

Reviewed 1 week ago
wet n wild

Ever since I was a kid this was the one thing I wanted to do...one off the bucket list. The thrill of the rapids, the speed and thumping roar of the engine was just awesome. The spins and hovering over the rapids was really good...More

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

So glad we could help you tick off that bucket list item Hagen! And with the uniqueness of the rapids! Enjoy the rest of your North Island adventure! Please come again :)

Reviewed 1 week ago
Excellent Jet boat ride

Fantastic experience, fun for all... full of twists and turns.. Gazza was a great guide and pilot even stopping to pass on some local knowledge whilst steadying the boat in the rapids... Top banana ...

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

So stoked you had a fantastic Rapids Jet experience with Gazza, Graeme! Please come again!

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