• 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

Looking for a special gift for Mum this Mother's Day? Treat her to an epic Jet Boat experience here at Rapids Jet, Taupō, we'll make sure she leaves full of adrenalin and smiling ear to ear! Purchase gift vouchers here:
Experience the powerful Nga Awa Purua rapids, where your driver surfs the Jet Boat on standing waves🌊🌊🌊 #rapidsjet #lovetaupoNZ
School holidays are here🥳 Bring the family to Rapids Jet and experience NZ's only white-water jet boating adventure and Taupo's best kept secret👌 #dosomethingautumn #rapidsjet #lovetaupoNZ
There were many smiles on the Waikato River today! 🚤💦 😁 Family fun times! 💙 #rapidsjet #LoveTaupoNZ
When visiting Taupō make sure to stop by Wairakei Terraces and Thermal Health Spa 📍 SH1, Wairakei, Taupō 📅 Open daily ⏰ 8.30am - 8.30pm ♨️ 3 Thermal adult - only pools 14yrs+ 💆‍♀️ Spa Treatments 🚶 Terrace walk 🍦 Cafeteria 📸#wairakeiterraces #DoSomethingAutumn #lovetauponz
The Jet Boat is a New Zealand icon, and jet boating is a favourite activity for kiwis🤩 Fun for all ages 5yrs + Our Drivers love to share their stories of the Awa (river) with our Manuhiri (guests) 💙 #RapidsJet #dosomethingautumnnz #DoSomethingAutumn
Experience the thrill of 'surfing' on the pressure waves of the famous Nga Awa Purua Rapids🌊🤙 #Rapidsjet #lovetauponz
#Didyouknow on our tour you will see the location of where some well known movies were filmed. Sharing our stories and connecting with our Manuhiri (Guests) #DoSomethingNewNZ #rapidsjet
#TGIF The weekend is nearly here, time to go jet boating🌊🚤💙
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