Katoa jet boat rides are high-octane fun, no lie. Pre-Covid you could boost the experience with parasailing or tours to Mokoia Island or Manupirua Hot Springs. Hopefully they get to come back.
Handily located at the Rotorua lakefront, Katoa is a super-fun adventure.
Just for the record, jet boat hair? It's a thing. You know how some people can still manage to look good if their hair is flattened by the wind and sticking up on one side? Not me I'm afraid. Even that mad scientist, Emmett, in the movie Back to the Future, looks better. Sigh. Some people have all the luck.
For thrills - hopefully not spills - this is a wow of a ride. There's nothing like speed, grunty engines and 360° turns with water spraying everywhere to get you laughing and feeling alive.
Those things aside, as you head out towards Mokoia Island, your driver will look for every which way to get that boat slamming into the water hard enough to rattle the bones in your backside. Then it's onto turns so tight you half-expect to end up as fish food. It might sound terrifying but it sure is a heck of a lot of fun.
Something unexpected were the periodic stops. The driver hat is tossed aside as the tour guide hat goes on.
That’s when you hear about various points of interest, local stories and other snippets of info, all imparted with a good degree of humour.
Although water does spray into the boat, you’re outfitted beforehand
with huge plastic coats to stop you getting wet. To finish off that gorgeous ensemble? A lovely fitted orange life jacket. Beautiful!
Apparently, if you're at the back of the boat, you're likely to get showered with a lot more water. (It's true, as I found out on my next ride.)
Kids don’t miss out either. If they can hold on tight they’re good to go. There you go, fun for all the family.
Book ½hr Katoa Jet Boat Tour >>
Address: Mataiawhea St, (off Lakefront Drive)
Phone: +64 7 343 7600
Freephone: 0800 538 7746
Hours: 9am-5pm daily (except for Christmas Day)