In Which I Go On A Jetboat And Immediately Want To Die

In Which I Go On A Jetboat And Immediately Want To Die

#NewZealand is the most fantastic country and I really fell in love with it. It's vibrant and #active and just beautiful. However, when I agreed to go jet #boating, that all changed in an instant. As someone with severe motion sickness, perhaps it wasn't my best decision...

When I agreed to join Dave and Dustin on a half-hour jet boat ride, I genuinely had no idea what this would entail.

I mean, I had never even heard of a jet boat. And after being told it was just a reasonably fast boat that casually whizzes past pretty scenery on a calm river it sounded like something I’d probably enjoy. I mean, sure, my ridiculous motion sickness means I vomit every time I move, but a boat ride on a river?

How bad could it possibly be?

Prior to realizing what I was getting into 
Prior to realizing what I was getting into 

We arrived at the Huka Falls Jet office and as we walked through the door, my jaw dropped. I was greeted with an enormous screen showing a jet boat racing down a terrifyingly narrow channel at 80km/h. The passengers were being thrown from side to side, the boat was avoiding rocks by mere centimetres.

What on earth had I gotten myself into?

With barely any time to comprehend what the next 30 minutes had in store for me, I soon found myself sitting nervously in the boat, wondering how soon it would be before I threw up over myself.

I soon found myself sitting nervously in the boat

Our driver went through the safety briefing: “Don’t stand up, don’t fall out, hold on tight. When I hold my finger in the air and draw a circle, we’re about to go into a 360 degree turn.”

Wait, what?


I think my awkward smile and vice-like grip on Dave’s hand in the photo below says everything about how I was feeling at that moment.

I knew very early on that I wasn't going to be all that happy on this jet boat
I knew very early on that I wasn't going to be all that happy on this jet boat

I instantly knew this was not going to be enjoyable.

I’ve never met anyone with motion sickness as bad as mine. I can’t spend more than 5 minutes in the ocean without feeling nauseous, swimming pools make me feel awful and even baths have made me feel terrible in the past.

My petrifying run-in with severe vertigo in Turkey last year left me even more paranoid about my body undergoing unnatural movements. The vertigo was caused by dislodged crystals in my inner ear — and once you have this happen once it’s extremely likely you’ll get it over and over again. I’ve been fortunate not to have had a single reoccurrence over the past 8 months, but I couldn’t help but worry that all of these high-speed turns were going to make my body very unhappy.

And then we started moving.

It's almost time to set off
It's almost time to set off

We accelerated sharply and began bouncing violently across the water, the engine roaring. I nervously glanced up at Dave, silently cursing his courage and lack of nausea upon seeing him grinning widely. I cringed as we raced towards the riverbank, screaming as we suddenly skidded to a stop before accelerating rapidly towards an island in the centre of the river.

We accelerated sharply and began bouncing violently across the water

I watched as our driver raised his finger in the air and began to slowly move it in a circle. I tightly gripped the bar in front of me, fighting the urge to leap forwards and bite his finger off. Anything not to have to go through this.


Before I could even prepare myself for what was coming, I found myself spinning sharply at a paralysingly fast speed.

As we came out of the turn, the entire jet boat was laughing, cheering and looking like they were having the time of their lives.

I wanted to jump off the side of the boat and swim back to the office.

With Dustin positioned in the row in front of us, he had a perfect view of my overly expressive face and diligently made sure to record every single second of my terror over the next 30 minutes.

So "lucky" there are photos of this ordeal
So "lucky" there are photos of this ordeal
Oh, yes, having so much fun...
Oh, yes, having so much fun...

I think it’s safe to say that I probably won’t be getting on a jet boat ever again.

I would just like to mention that Dave, Dustin, everyone on the jet boat and what seems like everyone who has ever spoke of Huka Falls Jet online absolutely loved their jet boat experience. If you like fun then you’ll likely love jet boating. 

If you like fun then you’ll likely love jet boating

If you get travel sick you’ll probably enjoy it too as I wasn’t able to find a single report online of anyone ever feeling sick on a jet boat.

Where to Stay in Taupo

Our Partnership with HostelBookers brought us to Taupo Urban Retreat, a fun hostel located in the centre of town. The staff were lovely and friendly and happy to help out with any queries.

Our four bed dorm room was clean and cosy, the shared bathroom had enough shower stalls that you never had to wait and the large kitchen was well-equipped to cook in. The hostel offers an evening meal deal where you can get dinner and a drink for $5, which is fantastic value for New Zealand. You receive an hour of free internet when you arrive (rare in New Zealand!) and then the wifi is offered through Global Gossip ($4 for 24 hours). 

from  $31

Hotel Taupo Central Motel

 135 Heuheu Street, Taupo, New Zealand
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This hostel could have been one of my favourites in New Zealand but unfortunately, it felt like every afternoon the Kiwi Experience and Stray buses would pull up outside and the relaxing, laid back vibe would instantly disappear as it morphed into a noisy, party hostel — it would have been perfect if it hadn’t been for this! Fortunately, our dorm room did block out most of the noise so it is easy to escape the mayhem, as long as you don’t mind hanging out in bed.

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