Otago
Speed & Jet Boat Tours

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Our most recommended Otago Speed & Jet Boat Tours

Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

1. Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

Get an adrenaline rush on a 1-hour jet boat ride, operated by the world’s first commercial jet boat company. Take in stunning views of the Remarkable Mountains and journey up 2 of South Island’s most iconic rivers.  Depart from the heart of Queenstown, and climb aboard the big yellow jet boat at the Main Town Pier. Hold on tight as you accelerate across the water and feel the exhilaration of a high-powered twin-engine boat that powers across Lake Wakatipu. Experience the twists and spins as you enter the Kawarau River and race past rocks and under bridges at speeds of up to 95 kilometers per hour.  Grip the heated handrails and experience 360° spins while you speed up the shallow channels of the Shotover River. After 45 kilometers of pure adrenaline, return to the pier and see photos and videos from your trip.

Skippers Canyon Thrilling Jet Boat Ride & Scenic Transfers

2. Skippers Canyon Thrilling Jet Boat Ride & Scenic Transfers

Enjoy a spectacular guided tour of Skippers Canyon followed by a thrilling jet boat ride through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River! Take on the only jet boat ride where you experience the historic gold mining relics that still remain in the river and Lord of the Rings locations.  Meet your friendly driver in central Queenstown and head up into historic Skippers Canyon. Enjoy live on-board commentary from your knowledgeable driver and marvel at the stunning scenery. Journey through a land rich in gold mining history and breathtaking views via the infamous Skippers Canyon Road, hand-carved out of the vertical rock face over 120 years ago.  Upon arrival to the Shotover River, you will be provided with a life jacket and warm gloves. Feel your adrenaline surge as you power deep into Skippers Canyon through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River. Highly skilled jet boat drivers maneuver the boat just inches from the sheer canyon walls. Your excitement levels will be sky high with speeds in excess of 80kph and a series of full 360° spins. After your ride, your driver will take you back to the jet boat base to view footage from your ride before the trip back to Queenstown through the breathtaking canyon!

Wanaka: Jet Boat Ride on Clutha River

3. Wanaka: Jet Boat Ride on Clutha River

Experience the water like never have before on a jet boat adventure in Wanaka. Skim across shallow water, over sand bars, through rapids, and around rocks at speeds in excess of 80 kilometers per hour. Departing from Wanaka’s waterfront, enjoy a short jaunt across the lake taking in stunning snow-capped mountain views, and prepare to enter one of the world’s swiftest-flowing rivers, the Clutha River.  Of course, a jet boat ride wouldn’t be complete without the iconic Hamilton Spin, a high-speed maneuver causing the boat to spin rapidly on the spot. Your expert driver will raise your adrenalin, demonstrating the maneuverability of the jet boat and pushing it to its absolute limits, safely and skillfully navigating you on an unforgettable adventure.

Queenstown: Dart River Canoe, Jet Boat & Paradise Day Trip

4. Queenstown: Dart River Canoe, Jet Boat & Paradise Day Trip

Combine wilderness jet boating with unique ‘Funyak’ inflatable canoes for a fun way to explore the Dart River located in the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park. Your full-day adventure begins with a courtesy transfer to Glenorchy from Queenstown.  Admire lakeside scenery as your local driver shares entertaining commentary about Lake Wakatipu and its legends. The spectacular 46-kilometer drive is considered one of the world’s top 10 scenic drives. Meet your friendly, experienced guides at the Dart River visitor center who will kit you out with all the equipment you’ll need for the day. Enjoy 1-hour of high-speed wilderness jet boating through the clear waters of the Dart River into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area and your Funyak launch site.  Start your paddle, soaking in the tranquillity as you float downstream on sparkling water. Explore hidden side streams, rock pools, and dramatic chasms under the expert guidance of your guides. Savor a delicious picnic lunch, which marks the midway point, before continuing downriver. At Paradise, climb aboard the bus for a back-country tour through the valley to Glenorchy. Immerse yourself in scenes and backdrops from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Your adventure concludes with your return to Queenstown. 

Queenstown: Kawarau River Jet Boat Adventure

5. Queenstown: Kawarau River Jet Boat Adventure

Discover Queenstown’s untouched and pristine wilderness during an authentic jet boat adventure across Lake Wakatipu and along the historic Kawarau River. Choose from a 25-minute or 1-hour experience and spend more time on the water with a convenient departure right from the heart of Queenstown. Depart from Thunder Bay next to Steamer Wharf in the heart of Queenstown and travel far up the Kawarau River, covering a distance of 47 km. Along the way, listen to interesting commentary from your experienced driver. After getting equipped with a life jacket and spray jacket, climb on board and experience exhilarating 360-degree spins, skimming the water at speeds of up to 95 km/hour.  Then, travel down the river where it is calmest, even when the lake is rough. Take your camera along to capture the stunning scenery of your jet boat experience with frequent photo opportunities.

Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

6. Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

Raft the Kawarau River, perhaps better known as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings, for a great half-day activity in Queenstown This is a perfect introduction to whitewater rafting for first-timers. There will be plenty of rapids action plus time to sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Catch the free shuttle from the centre of town out to the raft base where you will be fitted out with all your gear. From there, head back into the heart of Queenstown to catch your jet boat transfer. Take on the beginning 22 km of the Kawarau river at 95 km/h with thrilling 360-degree spins as you arrive at the rafting station. Your rafting adventure covers 8-kilometers of the river. Take on grade 2-3 rapids and perhaps the occasional grade 2-4 rapid, when there are higher water levels. These are usually easier to navigate and there is less risk of falling out. Enjoy flat stretches of river between the rapids where you have the opportunity to race your friends on the other rafts or jump out and swim. Keep an eye on the other rafts, as there is a good chance of a water fight. Conclude your adventure by rafting the longest commercially rafted rapid in New Zealand, the Dog Leg. This is a 400-meter long and grade 3/4 rapid. Add some extra excitement by joining in on the optional cliff jumping section, or sit back and watch your friends take a leap.

Wanaka: Mount Burke 4x4 Explorer and Boat Tour

7. Wanaka: Mount Burke 4x4 Explorer and Boat Tour

Climb aboard a water taxi and cross Lake Wanaka towards the head of Stevenson’s arm. Gaze at the constantly changing vista of steep walls and alpine peaks. Learn about the fascinating history of this area devoid of people. Venture past Stevenson’s Island and disembark at the foot of Mount Burke. Board a 4x4 vehicle with your guide, and climb high above the lake. Take in the expansive panorama of crystal clear water and the rugged summits of Mount Aspiring National Park. Breathe in the quiet solitude of Wanaka. Hear stories of the early settlers who sought farmland, gold, and a better life in New Zealand. Enjoy a gourmet open-air picnic. Choose between a morning tea menu of fruit and muffins with tea and coffee, or an afternoon menu of fruit, cheese and crackers and local wine (red, white, or rose). Of course, you can choose to have wine in the morning, coffee in the afternoon, or to enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage. The choice is yours.

Queenstown: Half-Day Dart River Jet Boat & Paradise Tour

8. Queenstown: Half-Day Dart River Jet Boat & Paradise Tour

Discover breathtaking World Heritage scenery, exhilarating wilderness, thrilling jet boating, and Maori heritage on a half-day adventure. Travel deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park with the only jet boat operator allowed on the Dart River. Throughout the day, your experienced guides will add a personal touch, sharing the area’s history, the Greenstone trail, and Maori legends.  Your half-day adventure begins with a courtesy transfer to Glenorchy from Queenstown. Admire lakeside scenery as your local driver shares entertaining commentary about Lake Wakatipu and its legends. The spectacular 46-kilometer drive is considered one of the world’s top 10 scenic drives. Arrive at the Dart River visitor centre and be equipped with everything you need for your jet boat experience. Climb aboard and discover a unique combination of breathtaking scenery matched with thrilling high speeds.  Enjoy 2 hours of thrilling high-speed on a jet boat ride through Dart River’s wilderness. Skim across braided, glacier-fed rivers into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area. You’ll travel as far up the river as possible, before returning to Glenorchy back down the Dart River to immerse yourself in scenes and backdrops from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Return to Glenorchy and join the courtesy transfer back to Queenstown.  Sample Itinerary: 08:30 AM Courtesy transfer from Queenstown to Glenorchy 09:30 AM Dart River jet boat experience 11:30 AM Return to Glenorchy 1:00 PM Arrive Queenstown

Frequently asked questions about Otago Speed & Jet Boat Tours

What are other things to do than Speed & Jet Boat Tours that are worth visiting in Otago?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Otago

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What people are saying about Otago

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 89 reviews

Bus transfer had amazing scenery, fun local knowledge commentary, fantastic jet boat ride. Whole trip was great value. Would definitely recommend.

The guide was lovely, helpful and very knowledgeable. The boat ride was awesome! The scenery along the way was breathtaking

Was an amazing drive to the jet boat, the guide was extremely knowledgeable and the views breathtaking

Really enjoyed it and the guide was great. Highly reccomend

Great jet boat ride adapted for weather conditions.