New Zealand Travel Guide: Jet Boating in TaupoMarch 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.
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.
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