In 1954, a man called Sir William Hamilton designed a boat that would be capable of navigating fast-flowing, shallow waters in the sheep-rearing high country of the south island. Some years on, jet boating is one of New Zealand’s biggest adventure tourism attractions, and one of the most scenic is the Huka Falls Jet.
WHY TRY JET BOATING?
Not only do jetboats negate the need for propellers, which can be damaged easily on rocks in shallow water, but they are highly maneuverable, which makes them a huge amount of fun to play around in!
Jet boating tends to be on offer in regions with stunning natural scenery too. Huka Falls are a massive tourist attraction in their own right.
WHAT HAPPENS ON A HUKA FALLS JET RIDE?
For half an hour, you’re taken along winding rivers, dodging tree branches and cliff faces by inches, until you reach the falls. The jetboat can reach speeds of 80 km/h.
After splashing around in the white water close to the bottom of Huka Falls, you return the way you came, spinning in circles at high gravitational forces as you go. It’s great fun and an experience you shouldn’t miss while you’re in the county.
HukaFalls Jet runs every day of the year except Christmas day, so, for the colder months, they supply a long, attractive waterproof for you to wear under your life jacket.
HUKA FALLS JET TIPS
– Bear in mind that the waterproof will block access to any pockets you had intended to protect your camera in while the boat is swinging around in circles. I finished up with a GoPro between my legs as I grasped the heated handles of the boat and I was concerned I might lose it.
– Also note that you’re not permitted to video the experience but photos are fine. They will provide photo and/or DVD personalised packages for purchase.
Huka Falls is the most visited natural site in New Zealand, so why not see it in style?!
GETTING TO TAUPO
Intercity Buses provide services to Taupo from the following popular destinations (rough times in brackets): Rotorua (1 hour); Hamilton (3 hours); Auckland (5.5 hours); Wellington (6 hours). Further transfers are available from these locations. Use the tool below to search for specific journeys or click through to their home page for more information on bus passes and a wide range of scenic tours.
WHERE TO STAY
There are plenty of backpacker hostels in Taupo and you won’t have to walk far from the bus stop to find them. I spent a couple of nights in X Base, which was a bit of a party place, but with great facilities. If you’re not in the mood for dressing like a Christmas tree in July, you can simply keep your distance from the bar next door!
I was a guest of HukaFalls Jet. They did not request that I write a favourable review and any opinions expressed here are my own.