Jet Boating, Queenstown, New Zealand

Jet Boat Through The Shotover Canyon. Soaking Wet, Not Optional.

When my father came to visit me in Queenstown, we were both eager to try Jet Boating. As I lived near Lake Wakatipu, I consistently heard the revving of engines and the squeals of passengers. We were excited to try this adrenaline-inducing activity.  We bravely put on our life vests and left our lives in a young Kiwi man’s hands. He briefed us on safety, told us that we will get wet, and to enjoy every minute of it as it goes by fast – literally. With all this nervous energy, everyone hopped into the Jet Boat for the ride of our lives.




The driver put the pedal to the medal, I shot back in my seat, hair flying in all directions as adrenaline coursed through my body. As the boat gained speed (85km), we maneuvered through the narrow Shotover Canyon missing the river bank by an inch. I was scared out of my wits but surprisingly had a permanent smile on my face. How on earth can this be safe? Sometimes we were only in a foot of water as this powerful boat skimmed around rocks causing water to spray all over us. When the driver yelled ‘donut time’, I held tight when the 360° spins almost moved me out of my seat. I cheered for more.

As the Jet Boat slowed so did my heart and breathing. It was at this point I noticed the stunning location that only moments before terrified me. The beauty of the canyon is like none other and made more awesome by the fact that we witnessed it from the raging waters. Finally, a few shots for posterity (and my future travel blog) were taken by my dad who said this was one of his favorite experiences. We hopped back onto dry land and were both soaked to the bone, but as it was summer it was a refreshing delight. A few weeks later he asked if I wanted to do it again on my own, but I declined as I wanted my Jet Boating memory to be one with my father. What a great memory to have shared!


  • What: Shotover Jet Boating Queenstown
  • Where: Shotover Canyon – 7km from Queenstown – Complimentary Shuttle from town
  • Price:  Adult $145, Child $75, Family $365 (New Zealand Dollar)
  • Info: They do not allow personal cameras now, only head mounted Go Pros. Dress accordingly to the season. Spray jackets are available.