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About Katoa

Katoa in Te Reo Māori 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 and off the water.

Our dedicated and professional team have thrilled visitors from across New Zealand, and the globe, providing a mix of speed, spins and adrenaline with local history, a visit to iconic landmarks and tales from years gone by. If you're looking for something different that will both inspire and impress your group then don't look past us.

We have special rates for group bookings, conference or incentive groups. We understand that you may have something more personal in mind, or want to save time and be picked up from your Rotorua Lakeside location. We are happy to discuss any personlisation to your trip and offer you an unforgettable experience.

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Our Team

Willow (Guard Dog)

Willow is the first face that will greet you here at Katoa. She loves long walks on the lakefront and left overs from lunch. When asked what her favorite lake conditions are to go Jet Boating, she said 'ROUGH'

Harriet Bailey (The Boss)

Harriet is the "Big Boss" around here. She is in charge of all things Katoa and a Jet Boat Driver in the making. She keeps all the boys in check, and ensures everything runs smoothly. If you couldn't tell she is English from her accent, you only need to see how many cups of tea she drinks per day. 

Will Scadden (2IC)

Will 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. If you are out on a trip with Will, don't feel like you have to laugh at his jokes. They never get any better and it only encourages him.

Kelvin Harford (Kev)

Kelvin is one of our drivers here at Katoa. With many hours in Jet Boating under his belt, a trip with Kelvin is one to not be missed. Make sure you opt for a spray jacket though as the only thing that stays dry on his boat is his sense of humor. 

Kurt Matthews (The Contractor)

Kurt is one of our part-time Drivers. He is jack of all trades, master of none. When he is not here thrilling our customers, he is brewing award winning beer at a local brewery or travelling with his photography business. Having a trip with Kurt is always a Blast.

Read Lougher (Grandad)

Read is our "Senior" driver at Katoa. He comes in when we are busy to take our customers for a Spin. He is also a Pilot so look out for his pre-flight safety briefing. He has forgotten more about this area than most of us have learned so feel free to ask him as many questions as you like.

Our Jet Boats

With a total carrying capacity of 50 people per trip, Katoa Lake Rotorua is the perfect choice for your group or team building exercise. Our high powered Jet Boats are designed and built specifically for use on Lake Rotorua and uphold the highest level of safety and reliability.


Purpose built Jet Boat by Mackraft specifically for use in the conditions of Lake Rotorua. This boat runs a 350ci Mercruiser Scorpion V8 Motor with a Hamilton 212 Jet Unit and is built to carry up to 11 passengers. This wee boat has a total power rating of 330HP (246KW) and will propel you across the water at speeds of up to 85km/h.


This is the newest boat in our fleet and is packed with amazing technology. This is the only Commercial Jet Boat in NZ to run a motor based on Ford's legendary XR6 Turbo Engine with a Hamilton 212 Jet Unit. It too was built for use in Lake Rotorua's ever changing conditions and performs amazingly. This boat is built to carry up to 22 passengers and has a power rating of 500HP (372KW). It too will blast you to speeds of up to 85km/h


This Jet Boat is the biggest in our fleet and is powered by two Kodiak Marine 350ci V8 engines providing a combined power of 700HP (521KW), coupled by two Hamilton 212 Jet Units. It is designed and built jointly by Mackraft and KJET Queenstown to be the world's very first "Twin Engine" Commercial Jet Boat to be developed. This technology is now widely used across the Jet Boating industry. This boat has a carrying capacity of up to 28 passengers and will also reach speeds of up to 85km per hour. 


All our Jet Boats are equipped with extensive safety equipment on-board to ensure your safety against all possible scenarios. Each year they undergo a safety audit with Maritime NZ, and Katoa Lake Rotorua upholds a strict maintenance program on the vessels in accordance with Maritime NZ. This is to ensure they are always in the safest possible condition to operate.


Katoa Lake Rotorua supply all customers with life jackets to ensure their safety. These MUST be able to be worn appropriately to board our Jet Boats. We also supply spray jackets that are optional but are highly recommended, especially in the winter months.


As a locally owned New Zealand business we live, work and play in a precious place and we acknowledge that we have a responsibility to look after it, now and for future generations. Below are just some of the actions we have undertaken to improve the sustainability of our operation.

Our tours incorporate the most incredible cultural and historical knowledge of Rotorua and we constantly review this information, learning more as a team from the local Iwi and Trusts to expand the knowledge we pass on to our visitors.

We are privileged to have access to Mokoia Island, the heart of Rotorua. The small tours we run to the Island help contribute to the preservation of Mokoia, in the form of a percentage of every ticket sold. This Island not only is of huge cultural and historical significance to Rotorua but it also is home to several of New Zealand’s endangered bird species. We provide regular transport for volunteers over the Mokoia Island to check and maintain predator traps, ensuring the future of the Island’s wildlife.

All our Jet Boats are fueled with Force10 which is a high-performance 98 Octane fuel made with 10% ethanol. This means that 10% portion is made from plant or animal products that ‘grow again’ and doesn’t need to be pumped out of the ground as crude oil. Because it burns more efficiently and at lower temperatures, it provides extra octane and cleaner air, emitting up to 8% less carbon dioxide than regular fuels.

We recycle as much of our plant and materials as possible. All the waste oil from our boats and tow vehicles is collected and recycled with a local oil recycling company, as well as our batteries. All scrap metal from our boats and maintenance programme is either reused by us or recycled.

Katoa along with Infomotive and other local suppliers have spent the last few years pioneering the use of an XR6 Turbo engine in one of our Jet Boats. After considerable RnD, this engine has proven to be safe, efficient and reliable. This engine weighs 180kgs less than the previously used V8 engine and produces more power whilst using 25% less fuel. These engines are sourced locally out of crashed vehicles destined for scrap and we will be working in the next few years to introduce these engines to our entire boat fleet.

We are constantly working on ways to reduce our carbon footprint and work alongside Rotorua Sustainable Charter, Qualmark New Zealand, New Zealand Tourism Sustainability etc. to ensure we are doing our part for future generations.