Jetboating in Queenstown

Practically compulsory, jetboating is an unforgettable ride.

Invented by ingenious, engineering farmer Bill Hamilton back in 1954. A humble man, Sir William often claimed that it was not he who invented the waterjet – that honor he attributed to the great mind of Archimedes. His greatest achievement was to improve the idea and make it work in the specialised field of boat propulsion.

The jetboat has become synonymous with NZ tourism and is still an incredibly exhilarating, compulsory activity in town. Currently there are a 4 established players in the market offering quite different experiences.

  • Shotover Jet has the exclusive world class canyons and a 20 minute thrill ride that is hard to beat and great value. Close to town and a great first experience getting close to the walls of the Shotover gorge.
  • Kawarau Jet accesses 2 rivers with its 1 hr trip leaving from the town pier. Offering a fantastic and fast view of the area. High speed boating across the lake leads to the beautiful Kawarau River and into the  braided lower Shotover river.
  • Dart River Jet is located in Glenorchy. The trip is a half day journey into the beautiful World Heritage area at the head of the lake. Includes a lovely short hike in native beech forest and 4WD bus journey.
  • Skippers Canyon Jet provides a wonderful trip into Skippers Canyon, NZ’s gold mining country. An exciting drive on Skipper Rd leads to the Shotover river. Afterwards enjoy a cuppa and some goldmining + a fabulous tour of Winkys Musuem.

All provide a great time and come with varying pros and cons.

We suggest you book a jetboat trip in conjunction with your Queenstown Experience and include some hiking, paragliding, bungy, wineries, lunch etc.