So, I’ve had a few stressful days with the Tiny Sheriff. He has tiny teeth poking through his tiny gums and as sympathetic as I am, by Day Dot of screams and wails, I’m ready to escape to the wilderness with a fresh adventure. After some bargaining with the Cowboy, I waved him off for spring skiing up Mount Ruapehu on the Saturday, which meant Sunday was my day for unbridled fun.
Having ticked off a number of thrills on my Taupo-nian wish list since returning, I was at a loss as to what to do, I only had a half day (honestly, you leave your beloved and your baby for too long and all hell brakes loose-trust me!) but really wanted to let my hair down (or up as it turned out to be.)
It’s been raining a little for the past few weeks and when I say a little I mean, a lot, which only adds to the fun of Jet-boating.
I’ve jet-boated a million times since I arrived in New Zealand, across lakes, along rivers and through gorges. And it never gets boring. Its such a great way to pep up your day with thrill a minute ride and in the Taupo region we are spoilt for choice with jet boating, I’ve done all the jet-boating Taupo has to offer, but in this particular instance, knowing the Huka Falls would be PUMPING following our rain, I picked Huka Jet to fling me about the water in style.
Jet boating is an easy choice for anyone, all you need is a sense of adventure, a love of water and if you’re a self-confessed speed junky like me; there is nothing better than the purr…well.. Roar, of that engine. GROWL. All 520 horse power (!!) from V6 Buick engines, with twin Hamilton Jet units that thrust 800 litres of water per second- yes, 800. LITRES. PER. SECOND. Ah the roar of the wild.
I’m giggling before I even start- yes I really am one of those people that get ridiculously excited about noisy machines. I should mention too, and you will know by now, if you’ve been here a while, that a kiwi invented the jet boat, so not only are we cool but we are also super talented too. And humble to boot…
The real beauty of the ride is that the seating is tiered so you get a fantastic 360-degree view of the beautiful native bush, cliffs and crisp turquoise water. There’s nothing worse than spending your hard earned cash only to stare at the back of some old geezers head the entire time. No chance of that here, there’s vision-a-plenty.
So off we go, the drivers are full of fun, and the boat takes only a couple of seconds to ride the plain of water. We are going fast and I mean fast- 80kmph. It’s a bit like a fairground ride, only in a much prettier setting, don’t be shy though, you’ll spend a large amount of time getting thrust into the lap of your neighbour at high speed and laughing the whole time, great for all you singles out there! Don’t be a hero, do hold onto the handle, this is not a ride you would want to be flung from at high speed (think human canon-ball- don’t panic, it’s never happened.) you’ll soon see the talent of the drivers as they fly up and down the river water, with just enough precision to thrill even the most-straight faced bore but gracefully enough that you know death is not imminent- generally a good thing when you’ve paid for the experience.
The single reason I have done this so many times and still go back for more? The signature 360-degree spins our jet- boaters are known for. The friendly staff give you a quick low-down at the start, if you spy them twisting their wrists, you’re up for the spin, an exhilarating rotation the length of the boat at high speed, flinging you in a flawless circular motion, then sinking down into the water. It’s an air-gasping, water splashing thrill and I LOVE IT. Yes- I was the one at the back yelling; “Do it again Bro!”
The beauty of the Huka Falls Jet, is that you get to zoom right up close to the huge Falls that our Township is so famous for, a breathtaking phenomenon where 220,000 litres of water drop 20 metres from the gorge every second. Phew.
Its, big, loud, noisy fun and it certainly blew the cobwebs from my baby brain, I don’t know about letting my hair down though… it was more… hair-raising… (Take note reader: wear a sturdy hat unless you want to look like a scarecrow)
There are several jet boating companies in the Taupo region. You can view the Huka Falls up close with Huka Jet, ride the spectacular rapids of Aratiatia with Rapids Jet or enjoy a Thermal Safari with New Zealand Riverjet.
Affordable thrills, book it today.
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