New Zealand Travel Guide: Jet Boating in Taupo

March 3, 2009

Day Five, Part One

I wasn’t hopping on the Magic Bus today, which meant I got to sleep in past 7:00. Very nice.

Bus days can be fun, but they also mean a morning spent hurriedly packing up and moving out, stripping the sheets off your bed for check out and throwing everything on the bus again.

Unfortunately, Driver Greg was headed back north with his bus today, so I would be getting a new driver the next day, hopefully with another good accent.

Safety first at Rapids Jet.

Safety first at Rapids Jet.

My first activity of the day was the Rapids Jet. There are a few jet boating companies in the area, but I did some asking around and was told that this place offered the longest and best ride. I wasted my time by showering first and then got ready to be picked up by Shuttle 2U, a local shuttle that runs between many of the atrractions and activities.

The shuttle is $4-5 per ride, or you can get an all-day pass for $15. I wasn’t sure if I would need the all-day, but the lady at the YHA recommended it and pointed out some of the other sights I could see on the shuttle, so I went for it, repeating my exchange rate motto: It’s all half price!

Turns out, unlike the hop on, hop off shuttles in bigger cities that just make a circuit and pick up every half hour or so, this shuttle is just a few drivers who pick you up and drop you off on demand. One girl got me from the YHA and took me to the Honey Hives for a quick look around (go for the Honey & Kiwifruitvice cream if nothing else), then another driver picked me up, along with a few others, to go to the Rapids Jet.

The Aratiatia Scenic Reserve, pre-jet boatting.

The Aratiatia Scenic Reserve, pre-jet boatting.

For $15, having my own drivers for the day was an excellent deal, probably a fraction of what taxis would cost, and the wait for a ride was minimal, maybe 10 minutes at the most.

The Rapids Jet is exactly the kind of adventure sport for me. It’s at ground level, it’s fast, it involves being surrounded by some really lovely nature, and it might also make you scream.

The jet boat is very agile, making hairpin turns, skimming across shallow waters (it only needs four inches to keep running), and keeping you guessing which way the driver is going to go next. It cost NZ$90 (only US$47 today), but for the fun I had I think it was totally worth it.

The pictures, on the other hand, were overpriced at NZ$30. You can’t bring your own camera, so they’ve got you there, but all the photos are taken by someone on shore, so it’s not like they have any close-ups of your screaming, smiling face, like the black water rafting offered. I passed on the photo CD.

When the boating was over I wsa wet and I still had the afternoon free, so it was time to see more of Taupo.

Next: The Wairakei Terraces


  1. […] advice for student travelers. « New Zealand Travel Guide: A Maori Hangi in Rotarua New Zealand Travel Guide: Jet Boating in Taupo » New Zealand Travel Guide: Rotorua to Taupo March 2, 2009 Day Four The bubbling […]

  2. Thanks for the great information on this site. It’s really great to keep popping back to see what is happening

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: