Jetboating on the Waikato River
What a magnificent day. The brisk morning quickly turned into a barmy North Island day. After a quick breakfast of cereal and toast, we were impressed by the boys that they were ready to go on the excursion early. Obviously it takes the average 14 year old boy 8 days for some type of time structure to set in. So we headed off towards Huka Falls Jet boat on the Waikato River leading away from the largest lake in New Zealand, Lake Taupo.
Jack Fewtrell preparing for the Luge run
The trip took roughly an hour and a half, with our usual half hour break for Mc Donalds. On arrival at Huka Falls Jet boats, Jet one, two and three were all lined up looking forward to thrilling us for the next hour. Boat one left the dock which was situated in the most pristine crystal clear turquoise water. Boat two quickly followed and both boats we screaming downstream at 80km per hour right on the edge of the embankment. The skill of the drivers was phenomenal. The twist and turns around trees, submerged branches sticking out of the water and rock walls had everyone sitting there white knuckled. When we arrived at the botton section of the
Peter Bowker Going a Little Crazy For the Luge
river boat two caught up with boat one. There was obviously a bit of lip service from the two boats, so the driver circled each other and gave each boat a spray from their jets. If you were a fish, I’m sure you would hang around closer to the dock, as there was a spring that pumped out 60 degree water. The rest of the river was freezing. Of the race back up stream the next stop was the actual Huka Falls.
The falls were flowing at near 100%. The volume of water was amazing and the driver advised we could not stay too long in the wash because it was too dangerous. The water coming over the falls was hitting the river bottom 25 metres below and making bubbles of water bigger than the boat rising all around us. When we arrived back at the dock, the grins on faces were hard to hide. A truly amazing ride in a glorious location. The drivers pointed out the Huka Falls lookout and mentioned that the dam at the lower section of the river opens every two hours. We had about another hour to wait till the next opening so we decided to go and see the Falls from another angle. They say if the falls are at 30-40% flow, the world best kayakers sometimes have a go at them. It is illegal to do so because it is classed as attempted suicide in to attempt the falls. With a few minutes to spare we darted off to the dam (remember, the boys are moving faster by day 9). The gates slowly opened after a couple of waring sirens and the gully quickly filled up with an enormous amount of water.
Josh Bowker and Jack Finnegan heading off down the luge
Once again the boys were getting hungry so we started on our trek back to Kiwi Paka for a BBQ. We had a lazy afternoon, some cleaned boots, some swam in the hot pool. Next attraction was the Rotorua Luge followed by Dinner. We caught the gondola up the mountain for a spectacular view and went around to pick up our weapons. After the slow and lazy scenic track, it was time to take on the advance speed track and the only accident was: picture
It was now time for dinner at the buffet restaurant was ready for us. I was going to apologise to the chef, as it would have been his busiest evening trying to keep the buffet looking full. Lucky we could catch the gondola back down, as everyone was as full as pigs. We are now back at Kiwi Paka watching the Dragons smash the Roosters and will be retiring early (rubbish) for our safe return tomorrow.