Shotover Jet: New Zealand's best attraction -

Shotover River jet boat

One of the scariest boat rides in the world, full of adrenaline

A tour in a Shotover Jet jet boat is a unique excursion in New Zealand. In a super fast boat you sail on the Shotover River. The captain turns the boat into all kinds of sharp turns, making you feel the G-forces. This excursion is one of the best in Queenstown.

Jet Boating, as it is also called, is different. Only New Zealanders can create this. In an ultra-fast boat you will sail through a narrow gorge, along steep rocks and make sharp turns and even turn around with a firm hold on. The goal is to get through the gorge as quickly as possible, sometimes sailing unprecedentedly close to the rocks. This is adrenaline all over.

What does the excursion look like?

At first the captain is friendly, but before you know it, you’re racing across very shallow water, barely missing rocks, trees and gravelly banks. And he heads straight for them, just to freak you out.

This is a full-on adrenaline rush. In between fast 360-turns the boat stops now and then for some information. You don’t really get a lot of time to have a good look around, though the area is gorgeous. The Shotover River is a beautiful river. And the captains are specially trained to manoeuvre these New-Zealand-designed jetboats, the Shotover Jet.

Jet boating in Queenstown, New Zealand. ©Corno van den Berg

Best spot on the boat

In the front

You can sit in the front like I did, you have a wonderful view of the river and the captain. So that you can (somewhat) anticipate his antics.

In the back

But if you're in the back you can't anticipate. Which is really thrilling. You get a lot more G-forces on you if the boat turns fast. If you want to, be sure to sit in the back.

At the edge of the boat

If you dare you can also sit on the side of the water. You will really see the rocks flash past you. This is not for people who are easily scared, because close means really close on this tour.

The beautiful landscape

You don't have time to take a good look around you, even though the surroundings are more than beautiful. The backdrop is the beautiful Shotover River. The drivers are extra trained to be able to drive the purpose-built boats well.

Where can I do the Shotover Jet tour?

The starting point for these crazy tours is just outside the adrenaline capital Queenstown.
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