Tours and Tickets

Waikato River Jet Boat Ride provided by Rapids Jet

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Waikato River Jet Boat Ride

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2 adults
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Low Price Guarantee
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
What to Expect
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.
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Important Information
  • Use of a waterproof spray jacket
  • Use of the Life Jacket
  • Safe on-site Parking
  • Use of bathroom Facilities
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Driver/guide
  • Souvenir photos (for purchase for NZ$40)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
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Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Not recommended for pregnant travellers
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Minimum age is 5 years or 1 meter tall
  • Family Pass includes 2 Adults and 2 Children
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult
  • Footwear of any type must be worn on the boat. (Sandals, Sneakers, Thongs, anything)
  • Wear warm sensible clothing
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 33 travellers
Cancellation Policy
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Traveller rating
  • 923
  • 64
  • 7
  • 3
  • 2
Traveller type
Time of year
Popular mentions
SHEZ wrote a review May 2020
Hamilton, New Zealand1 contribution
Our PM said... Come on NZ, see NZ.. SO for Queens Weekend, my husband and kids came along for the ride... Thank you to our Adventure Jet Boat guide 'Shannon'. Thrill, twirls and splashes... Smiles alround. Hope New Zealanders start enjoying NZ too.
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Date of experience: May 2020
Response from Rapids Jet T, Front Office Manager at Waikato River Jet Boat Ride
Responded 2 days ago
Kia Ora, thank you for coming along for Queen's Birthday and the fantastic review! We love being able to share this beautiful stretch of the Waikato river with our visitors. We hope to see you again in the near future.
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Steve wrote a review May 2020
Auckland, New Zealand3 contributions
The team went out of their way to accomodate us given our time restrictions, and every staff member I spoke to/dealt with was friendly and helpful. The ride was fantastic, and the driver (Shannon) doubled as a local guide with a sense of humour. We were told it was the best
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Date of experience: May 2020
Woody F wrote a review May 2020
Napier, New Zealand7 contributions1 helpful vote
2nd time on this exciting trip and as great as the first. This would have to be ond if the best jet boating experiences in the world. Where else do you get to jet boat rapids and waves. Plenty of thrills and an informative and educational sightseeing journey too.
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Date of experience: May 2020
Response from Rapids Jet T, Front Office Manager at Waikato River Jet Boat Ride
Responded 3 days ago
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this kind review! We are so happy to know you enjoyed coming along with Rapids Jet (for the second time!). The Team know we are pretty lucky to get to operate in this beautiful, unique spot on the Waikato River, up and down the crystal clear Nga Awa Purua Rapids! Sharing it with others makes it so much better... We look forward to seeing you again, for lucky visit #3!!
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pparko wrote a review Apr 2020
Sydney, Australia164 contributions48 helpful votes
I have been on a number of Jet Boat rides in NZ and Australia but this is the best without doubt. Not just high speed spins but surfing the rapids gives this ride a whole new experience. Thoroughly recommend.
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Date of experience: March 2020
Response from Rapids Jet T, Front Office Manager at Waikato River Jet Boat Ride
Responded 3 days ago
Kia ora Paul, We are so happy to hear Rapids Jet is the best jet boat ride in NZ and Australia, from your personal experiences!! The Team at Rapids Jet are always aiming to make your experience the best possible, so reviews like yours let us know we are on the right track. Thanks again Paul, and we hope to see you again!
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2013Noelia2013 wrote a review Mar 2020
Maidenhead, United Kingdom2 contributions2 helpful votes
worth it! We really enjoyed it! Shannon made it even more exciting! Everything very organized! we do recommend it!
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Date of experience: February 2020
Response from Rapids Jet T, Front Office Manager at Waikato River Jet Boat Ride
Responded 3 days ago
Kia ora, Wahoo...! Thank you for your review of Rapids Jet! Glad to hear you enjoyed your ride with Shannon!
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About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Rapids Jet
Lots of fun
Our 2nd time, loved it. Great rush beautiful scenery, professional friendly staff. Shannon was a great energetic
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Graham H
Just Brilliant
Dave the driver was welcoming, amusing, informative and reassuring if you needed it. The ride was brilliant - the r
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MAD lol 😂
What an awesome experience shooting up and down Kaituna River at high speed (82K - 42NM Ish). Drifting, spinning, b
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A must do, adrenaline rush!
An amazing experience. Highly recommend this company. It was great fun. Loved it. The driver slowed down a few time
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Must do!!
This was the highlight of our trip to taupo! Great time had by myself, husband and 6 grandchildren!! They loved rid
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Great trip down the amazing river. Great for the whole family. Highly recommend. Loved the info about the local env
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Great fun
A lovely way to see the falls and lots of fun to do, make sure to book in advance and hold on tight!!
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Awesome - better than Huka Jet!
Just did this jetboat trip with my 10 and 11 y/o kids. I'd done the Huka years back, this is way better as it has s
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Amazing fun, lots of laughs and great value. Simon our Jetboat driver was fantastic, very skilled also giving us he
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Fantastic !!! Beautiful scenary, great driving and commentary from Shannon - would highly recommend and would love
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Don’t miss this one!
We had a fantastic afternoon at the Rapids Jet. My teenage sons rate this as one of the best experiences in the nor
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So much fun!
Great fun, welcoming crew, reasonably priced- one of the favorite times on our trip. My husband usually gets motion
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Exceptional fun
Can't recommend this high enough well worth the $$ and the people were great they went above and beyond to make it
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Highly recommend Rapids Jet for all ages!!
Such a great experience! I took my family here and we had such good guides. One was able to take us earlier than we
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What an awesome experience!!!
We were gifted a voucher for our 3rd wedding anniversary and what fun we had!! Our captain was Shannon and he was a
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Key Details
  • Rapids Jet
  • Duration: 35m
  • Mobile Ticket Accepted
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Instant Confirmation
  • Languages Offered: English
Why Book on Tripadvisor?
  • Reserve Now & Pay Later
  • Free Cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
  • Low Price Guarantee
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