The number of jetski and other personal water craft (PWC) on Bay of Plenty waterways continues to increase.

On July 1st 2018, the new Navigation Safety Bylaw came into effect and there is a requirement for jetski and other personal water craft to be registered no later than November 2018.

Jetski and PWC registration

To keep registration costs to a minimum we have teamed up with Auckland Transport. Registration is a one off fee, valid for the lifetime of the machine, and it will be effective for the Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Waikato and Northland regions.

Register jetski or PWC now (via Auckland Transport's website).

Operators should also be aware that regulations governing personal water craft (PWC) are the same regulations that govern any power driven vessel. These machines are fast and exciting but need to be handled with care and attention.


Operating a PWC at speed from the shore is only permitted within the designated PWC reserved areas in our harbours and lakes. At all other times the 5 knot rule applies. 

See here the maps for Tauranga Harbour, Rotorua Lakes as well as Whakatāne and Ōhiwa Harbours.

Tauranga Harbour 

The Tauranga/Mount Maunganui area is a popular holiday resort for a wide age group. The safe, sheltered waters of the harbour are a major attraction to different user groups. Much of the harbour and its surrounding area retain an unspoiled beauty, which attracts more passive users.

Throughout the harbour there is an abundance of jetties, launching ramps, and ski lanes for small boat operators to use. Many reserve areas are adjacent to the harbour and where possible, boating facilities are provided. Please remember that most of the land adjacent to the harbour is privately owned, so you should not land without permission. During the summer season it is illegal to land on the forestry area of Matakana Island, except at designated ski areas or jetties.

Please respect and consider other users so everyone can use and enjoy our harbour.

Location Size
Hunters Creek, Tauranga Harbour entrance and Pilot Bay  1.9MB, jpg 
Tauranga Town Reach to Matapihi 3.1MB, jpg 
Ōmanu Beach, Kaituna River 1.5MB, jpg 
Tauranga, Ōmokoroa Beach 2.3MB, jpg 
Tauranga, Katikati entrance 2.0MB, jpg
Tauranga, Ongare Point 2.5MB, jpg 

Rotorua Lakes

The Rotorua lakes provide opportunities for a wide range of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking and more active sports such as water skiing, jet skiing and power boating.

A number of commercial operators also use the lakes, providing charter boat hire and cruises. Recreational users undoubtedly make up the majority of users; visitors and day-trippers travelling locally, regionally and nationally to spend their leisure time at the lakes.

Location Size
Lake Rotorua  2.7MB, jpg 
Lake Rotoiti (1) 2.7MB, jpg 
Lake Rotoiti (2) 2.5MB, jpg 
Lake Rotoehu  1.5MB, jpg 
Lake Rotoma  1.5MB, jpg 
Lake Ōkataina 1.6MB, jpg 
Lake Ōkareka 1.4MB, jpg 
Lake Tarawera 2.9MB, jpg 
Lake Tikitapu 1.5MB, jpg 
Lake Rerewhakaaitu  1.2MB, jpg 

Whakātane and Ōhiwa Harbour

The Whakatāne Harbour is a river port primarily servicing a commercial and charter fishing fleet. Because of its proximity to rich inshore fishing grounds, the port also provides access for up to 15,000 pleasure craft movements annually.

Ōhiwa Harbour lies 11 kilometres east of Whakatāne. Small boat operators should seek advice from regular users of the entrance or physically take a look at the bar at low water. Reasonable depths of water are maintained naturally within the channels. There are numerous sandbanks within the harbour that do not dry at low tide and small boat operators should exercise caution when navigating within the harbour. Ōhiwa Harbour is a very popular recreational waterway and various activities have been segregated to allow enjoyment by all. Please read the information signs at the boat ramps.

Location Size
Thornton, Rangitāiki River and Whakatāne River Entrance 1.5MB, jpg
Ōhiwa Harbour 2.6MB, jpg 
Lake Aniwaniwa 1.2MB, jpg