24 June 2020 | Written by Lydia Twohill

3 must-do jet boat rides in New Zealand

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Do you have a need for speed? After a thrill? Keen to see some of New Zealand’s stunning scenery all while 360 degree spinning? Then jet boating is just the ticket!

An awesome activity to embark on with the whole family or your group of friends, jet boating is suitable for most ages and can be enjoyed year round.

We’re blessed in NZ with so many harbour’s, rivers and lakes that offer the perfect playground for speeding about in a jet boat.

We’re spoilt for choice but we’ve picked our top 3 best places to jet boat in New Zealand – sit back and buckle up…


1. Shotover Jet Boat – Queenstown

best place to jet boat - queenstown
Photo credit: Shotover Jet Boat

Undoubtedly one of the most popular jet boat experiences in new Zealand, we can’t look past the Shotover Jet in Queenstown. Pair one breath-taking dramatic landscape with some serious speed and you’ve got one incredible experience that you won’t be forgetting anytime soon!

With tall towering canyon walls on either side of you, you’ll FLY down the braided river – only just squeezing through. Expect to have to hold on tight as your driver performs rapid speed manoeuvres and 360 spins. We’re sure you’ll step back onto dry land with a smile!


2. Huka Falls Jet Boat – Taupo

taupo best places to jetboat
Photo credit: @berndvdc

This is one exhilaratingly beautiful way to get up close and personal with the most powerful waterfalls in New Zealand! It’s one thing to admire the Falls from dry land and an entire different game to be sitting at the base of this powerful mass of water – prepare to be seriously impressed!

You’ll zoom along the Waikato River flanked by lush native bush, sheer rock cliffs and streams of hot water as you make your way to the base of the Falls. Hold on tight as you reach speeds of 80km/h, sure to get your adrenaline pumping and encourage a fair few giggles and screams along the way. 


3. Hanmer Springs Jet Boat – Hanmer Springs

hanmer springs jet boat

Another destination with so much adventure to be had and thrills on offer – Hanmer Springs Jet Boat is no exception! You’ll be racing through braided shallows, across white water rapids and squeezing through narrow gorges, all whilst reaching speeds of approximately 90km/h.

The powerful twin V8 engines allow the vessel to instantly change direction and travel on ankle-deep water, ensuring you’re always kept guessing! We recommend booking in at the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa to wind down after all that exhilaration.


Ready to head off in search of adventure and some thrills? Why not base yourself at one of our epic holiday homes for your journey.

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