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About Katoa

Katoa in Te Reo (Māori language) means entirely, everything, and everyone. It was the meaning of the word Katoa that led us on our own journey to become Katoa Lake Rotorua. A place where you can go to uncover all of Lake Rotorua’s history, culture, and thrills on Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island.  


Embrace a deeper understanding of Māori culture alongside our local guides, and discover how this culture is steeped within all of us in New Zealand. Learn about the famous love story between Hinemoa and Tutanekai on Lake Rotorua as well as the wars that have scarred Mokoia Island.


Our Team | Our Origins | Our Boats | Airport Transfer | KaititakiReviews | Location | Image Gallery

Our Team


Ross is the company’s Head Driver and one of the Managing Directors. He is responsible for all driver training, safety and maintenance of the boats and equipment.


Fiona is usually one of the first faces to greet you at the office and is well known as the babysitter of people's dogs and children. She is responsible for the smooth running of the business, key account management and keeping the lads in line.


Will has been with us here at Katoa for several years and has worked his way through the ranks to become our Operations Manager. He is responsible for making sure we can deliver a safe and enjoyable experience to all of our visitors. You will still see him out and about in the Jet Boats and head Skipper of our Water Taxi.


Famously born in a jet boat, Nick is a top driver with a passion for making every trip an unforgettable one.


Not only is John the first Chinese person to obtain a commercial jet boat license in New Zealand, but he is also a pretty awesome parasailing deckhand and Chinese salesperson.


Jaymz is one of our jet boat drivers here at Katoa. When he is not thrilling our customers blasting around Lake Rotorua you will also find him hanging off the parachute as a safety instructor on our Parasailing boat.

Exploring Lake Rotorua

History. Adrenaline. Native wildlife. Untouched beauty. All encompases Katoa Lake Rotorua and is waiting for you to discover on Lake Rotorua and Mokoia Island. Whether it’s the thrill of jet boating, learning about Mokoia Island’s ancient history, or cruising through the crater lake; you’ll be amazed and captivated by the history, wildlife, and thrills  on and off the water.

Our Origins

In the beginning, we were known as Kawarau Jet, born from Kawarau Jet in Queenstown, the world’s first commercial jet boat operation. With such a successful history, it was decided to bring the same experience to the North Island’s cultural and adventure capital, Rotorua. As time went on, business owner and operators Ross and Fiona Kelly saw that there was so much more potential than only the excitement and adrenaline of jet boating and chose to build on the jetboating to become Katoa (entirely) Lake Rotorua.

Our Boats

With a total carrying capacity of 57 people, Katoa Lake Rotorua is the perfect choice for your group or team building exercise. For the last five years Katoa Lake Rotorua has also been using high octane biofuel containing 10% bioethanol. All our boats use the tried and trusted Hamilton 212 jet units and adhere to the highest safety and maintenance standards.


Purpose built Jet Boat made by Mackraft Marine specifically for the conditions on Lake Rotorua. The boat runs a 350 Mercruiser V8 Chev Motor with a Hamilton 212 Jet Unit and is surveyed for up to 11 people.


This is the newest boat in the fleet with its sleek design turning heads whenever it hits the water. It is running an experimental motor based on an XR6 Turbo Engine. Once the Research and Development is complete it will have twin engines, making it one of the fastest commercial jet boats in the country. This boat is surveyed for up to 18 people. It too was designed and built specifically for use on Lake Rotorua.


This is the "Big Boy" of the fleet and runs two Kodiak Marine Chev 350 V8's coupled by twin Hamilton 212 Jet Units. This is built by Mackraft Marine and was the very first "Twin" Engine Commercial Jet Boat to be developed. It is surveyed for up to 28 people and has a top speed of 85km per hour.


This is a purpose built vessel running two Yamaha 150 horsepower outboard engines. You will take off and land on the boat so no water contact or previous experience is necessary. All harnesses, parachutes and associated equipment is certified to the highest standards and regularly assessed and maintained.

Katoa JET Water Taxi

This purpose built Commercial Catamaran is perfect for the conditions here on Lake Rotorua. Our water taxi is designed with comfort in mind. It keeps you away from the spray and quickly transports you to Mokoia Island and other locations. With covered seating for up to 30 guests and large windows to take in the scenery this is your ideal transport around Lake Rotorua. It is powered by Twin 300hp Suzuki Outboards making it powerful and quiet.


All boats are equipped with extensive safety equipment, radios and onboard safety mechanisms to ensure your protection against all possible scenarios.


All customers are supplied with spray jackets to keep you warm and dry and lifejackets for your safety. You MUST wear a lifejacket. Spray jackets are optional but highly recommended, especially in the winter months.

Airport Transfer

Start your Rotorua experience with something a little bit different. Enjoy a comfortable 15 minute drive from the airport before arriving at Katoa Lake Rotorua where your group can enjoy a fun 30 minute jet boat ride to your accommodation.

Minimum of 6 people required. Enquire today for more information.