• 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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  • Rapids Jet in Taupō gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me! The combination of stunning scenery and great banter from the team made it an unforgettable experience.

    Rona Latisha - NZ, 2024

  • Jacob was amazing! A very talented driver and had a great sense of humour! It was an overall thrilling ride with some splashes to keep hydrated. Jacob was informative and provided many facts along the River; in addition to 360 spins. Lastly, the photos provided at the end were super high quality! Happy to support this business 😊

    Camila Bulkowski - United States

  • Had the best time with Shannon at the controls of the jet boat experience! Great fun great organisation and brilliant experience! Great value for money. Very safe and exhilarating at the same time. The Waikato River is stunning! A fantastic time from start to finish! Thanks, Rapids Jet! Had a ball!

    Pat & Alan - NZ, 2024

  • awesome experience, Jacob our jet boat driver was amazing and knew his stuff. I would recommend it 100% to anyone visiting Taupo😄

    Catherine Marshall - NZ, 2024

Do you want to share the thrill of jet boating with your friends, family, or colleagues? Whether it’s a reunion, a celebration, or a corporate event, we love hosting groups at Rapids Jet! You can enjoy the excitement of zooming through the rapids and the gorges, while learning about the history and culture of the Waikato River 🌊 For groups of 10 or more, get in touch for the best deals and customise your trip. Or, if you prefer, you can book an exclusive ride and have the whole boat to yourself. Either way, you are in for an amazing adventure that you will never forget! #RapidsJet #Groups #Adventure #Thrill #Culture #Waikato #NewZealand
Looking for a family-friendly adventure in Taupō? Join Rapids Jet and experience the fun and excitement of jet boating through the Waikato River! Suitable for all ages from 5 to 105, this is a ride you’ll never forget! 🌊🛶 📸: @ Baileyrobsonnz 📍: Taupō, New Zealand #jetboat #thingstodotaupo #experiencetaupo #experiencenz #waikato #teawa #rapid #speed #lovetaupo
Rapids Jet is a must-do in New Zealand! You’ll get to see the Aratiatia Rapids, the biggest and longest rapids in the country 🙌 #Aratiatia #adventuretravel #RapidsJet #JetBoating #NewZealandAdventure #WhiteWaterRafting
Do you dare to take on the rapids? Rapids Jet is the ultimate jet boat challenge for adrenaline seekers! Come and see why we are Taupō’s favourite jet boat ride! 😎 #Aratiatia #adventuretravel #RapidsJet #JetBoating #NewZealandAdventure #WhiteWaterRafting
Witness the power of nature at the Aratiatia Dam, where several times a day, thousands of litres of water rushes down a peaceful gully and turns it into a ferocious and spectacular sight! 🌊 #Aratiatia #adventuretravel #RapidsJet #JetBoating #NewZealandAdventure #WhiteWaterRafting
Seeking a thrill to spice up your week? Experience the ultimate white water thrill at Rapids Jet 🚤 Book Now via the link in our bio. #adventuretravel #RapidsJet #JetBoating #NewZealandAdventure #WhiteWaterRafting
Nothing like a whitewater jet boat ride to get your heart racing! Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️ #valentinesday #NZmustdo #RapidsJet #ExploreTaupō #RiverAdventure #TaupōThrills #travelnz
Bucket List = Complete ✔️ E️xperience the thrill of white-water jet boating with Rapids Jet. 📍Taupō, New Zealand 📸 @ kateuzzzah #NZBucketList #NZmustdo #RapidsJet #ExploreTaupō #RiverAdventure #TaupōThrills #travelnz
“Rapids Jet in Taupō gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me! I would highly recommend it to anyone seeking an adrenaline-pumping adventure. The combination of stunning scenery and great banter from the team made it an unforgettable experience” Thanks for the 10/10 review, Rona! #NZmustdo #RapidsJet #ExploreTaupō #RiverAdventure #TaupōThrills #travelnz
Time to take some time off this weekend with your family and friends? Make it a weekend filled with laughter, excitement, and a few splashes! 💦 Book your experience with us now, link in bio ✨ #NZmustdo #RapidsJet #ExploreTaupō #RiverAdventure #TaupōThrills #travelnz
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