• Rapids - Rapids Jet

    The
    Rapids

Spectacular rapids.
Stunning scenery.

We are the only commercial jet boat operator on the Nga Awa Purua Rapids, a little further along from the Aratiatia Rapids, and we are so proud to be here! This stretch of the Waikato River is our home, and our playground.

 

Interesting Facts…

A few kilometres downstream of Huka Falls, the Waikato River naturally falls 28 metres in the space of just one kilometre. The water then flows faster and in a narrower channel, forming the beautiful Aratiatia Rapids. In 1964, that impressive flow was harnessed by the Aratiatia Power Station by way of a dam (and it can actually generate enough power for 90,000 homes!).

That dam is the famous Aratiatia Dam, and it releases the water four times a day during the summer, three times a day during the winter, restoring the Aratiatia Rapids to their natural glory.

On a Rapids Jet boat ride, you can expect to be taken safely right up to the wall of the Dam and to the left of it you’ll see the base of the Aratiatia Rapids, spilling out into the part of the river where we get to play! The world-famous Nga Awa Purua Rapids are further downstream and we have exclusive access to jet boat riding every drop. This is where the action happens!

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Watch the Aratiatia Dam open!

Watching the Aratiatia Dam open up is a sight to behold. Perfectly clear, calm turquoise water turns into a tumbling mess of white when around 80,000 litres of water are released!

We encourage you to head out this way early, so you can watch the Dam opening at one of the viewing points before your ride. The closest and easiest place to watch it from is the bridge, about a 5 minute drive from Rapids Jet. Park up in the Aratiatia Dam carpark and then pop onto the bridge to watch the magic happen! If you’re feeling up to it, there’s also a roughly 600m track that takes you to a dedicated lookout over the Aratiatia Rapids.

Aratiatia Dam Opening Times:

  • Summer (October to March): 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
  • Winter (April to September): 10am, 12pm, 2pm

At Rapids Jet we actually time our jet boat rides to go half an hour after the release so you get the best flows and viewing. We still operate outside these times, but book early for our 12.30pm and 2.30pm trips to make the most of the Dam’s release!

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  • A must do when in Taupō, was a fantastic ride and the staff are wonderful. Will be looking forward to doing this again!

    Janet & Greg - Auckland, 2021

  • Wow, an epic day full of action and incredible jetboating. Loved it! You guys rock.

    Mike McVey - Gisborne NZ

Some live-action footage from Rapids Jet! Keen to give it a go? Visit us in Taupō this summer season to giving these cascades a whirl. We’ll also give you a thorough tour of this part of the Waikato, with some historical facts and insider knowledge about where some popular films were made along the river! Find out more about The Ride on our website! There’s even an illustrated map with some clues… 📷: @the.travelling.dumplings #rapidsjet #dosomethingnewnz #backyourbackyardNZ #whitewater #taupo #thingstodotaupo #tourismnz #lovetaupo
Experience the Nga Awa Purua Rapids and the Huka Falls back-to-back! Our Rapids Jet and Huka Falls Cruise combo starts with a leisurely cruise to view the Huka Falls, then you’ll get to zoom across the water in one of our jet boats! A perfect outing for the whole family this summer. Head to Prices & Combos on our site to find out more! 📷: @hukafallsrivercruise #rapidsjet #dosomethingnewnz #backyourbackyardNZ #whitewater #taupo #thingstodotaupo #tourismnz #lovetaupo
A fun day out with the family that everyone will enjoy! After some pretty intensive lockdowns across the country, you’re well past due for some fun! 😁 We're curious: what was your favourite part of the Rapids Jet experience? Comment below! #rapidsjet #dosomethingnewnz #backyourbackyardNZ #whitewater #taupo #thingstodotaupo #tourismnz #lovetaupo
A great shot of our toys! 🚤 When they’re not out on the water treating anyone of any age to the ultimate Waikato River adventure, our powerful jet boats are in the shed for routine maintenance and general upkeep. Want to learn more about what’s under the hood? We’ve got some great Quick Facts about the jet boats on the About page of our site! Link in bio! #rapidsjet #dosomethingnewnz #backyourbackyardNZ #whitewater #taupo #thingstodotaupo #tourismnz #lovetaupo
Taupō is more than just its lake (although that’s pretty stunning!). It’s also the perfect place to get the whole family outside and moving, with stunning scenery and walking trails. On Thursday Oct 28 at 5.30pm, get the fam jam strolling for a worthy cause: The Pink Walk Taupō! It’s a 5km leg stretch to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation NZ. Four-legged friends welcome! Maybe we’ll bring Max... 📸: The Pink Walk on Facebook #pinkwalktaupo #rapidsjet #dosomethingnewnz #backyourbackyardNZ  #taupo #thingstodotaupo #tourismnz #lovetaupo
How lucky are we to live in such a beautiful place!!😍🌈
Kia Ora!! We are so happy to let you all know. That Rapids Jet is operating under level two!! For more information or to book, contact the team! We cannot wait to see you all again! ❤️🎉
Check out this stunning shot of the water moving through the Nga Awa Purua Rapids! 🌊
The team are so proud to be ranked #1 of 36 Boat Tours & Water Sports Activities in Taupo, on TripAdvisor! With over 1500, 5 star reviews from our awesome customers! If you haven't already.. come down and see what all the fuss is about!😍
Sunday Funday!! 🎉🚤
Taking a pause.. to take in our beautiful surroundings. 😍 We are pretty lucky to have exclusive access to this little slice of paradise! Come see for yourself. #rapidsjet #adventure #dosomethingnewnz #lovetaupo #scenery #waikato #taupo #tauponz #purenz
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