Best time to visit New Zealand

Jet Boating in New Zealand 2024-2025

Jet boating in New Zealand's quick and shallow rivers flowing through steep canyons evokes an immeasurable thrill

Best time: September–April

Jet Boating
Jet Boating
Jet Boating

Exhilarating scream, million water splashes and a great trill at every turn when your jet boat nearly crashes into the rough rock. This water rollercoaster produces breathtaking feelings, as the vessel carries you down the swift and shallow river gorges through narrow canyons. A jet boat was invented in New Zealand in 1954 by William Hamilton, who made his dream come true when he created a revolutionary​ propellerless boat which could speed along New Zealand's 10 cm deep rivers. Jet boating soon became a symbol of the country.

Nowadays it is still a thrilling must-do experience. Among several jet boating spots the Shotover River Canyons are proved to be the best. A thrilling ride may be experienced during the whole year, yet better to choose the warm season between September and April. It will still cool you down.

Practical info

When is the best time to go jet boating in New Zealand?

For a thrilling experience jet boating in New Zealand, the ideal time is from September to April, during the warm season. The water temperature is more pleasant, which makes it more enjoyable. Regardless of the season, it's important to dress warmly and bring a jacket as the water temperature can still be chilly. Show more

Where is the best spot for jet boating in New Zealand?

Shotover River Canyons in New Zealand is widely considered the best spot for jet boating because of its breathtaking view and thrilling twists and turns. Other great jet boating locations include the Waiau River in Hanmer Springs and Huka Falls in Taupo. Each spot is definitely worth exploring! Show more

What is the history behind the invention of the jet boat in New Zealand?

William Hamilton developed the jet boat in 1954, which made boating in shallow rivers possible. Hamilton was passionate about boating but became frustrated with the limitations of propeller-driven boats. He created a propellerless boat that revolutionized the industry and became the world's first commercially successful jet-propelled boat. Jet boating has since become a symbol of the adventurous Kiwi spirit. Show more

How does jet boating provide a unique experience of exploring New Zealand's natural landscape?

Jet boating in New Zealand provides an unforgettable perspective of exploring the country's natural landscape. It's a thrilling experience travelling at high speeds, navigating narrow canyons, and shallow rivers that would be otherwise impossible to reach. The relatively eco-friendly boat is powered by fuel-efficient engines or electricity, which also produces fewer emissions. The 360-degree spins, turns, and water splashes offer a memorable ride that isn't possible with other modes of transportation. Show more

What safety measures are in place for jet boating in New Zealand's quick and shallow rivers?

Safety is a top priority for jet boating companies. All companies have trained and experienced drivers who ease through the narrow canyons. Passengers are provides with life jackets, and safety procedures are conducted before the ride. Regular maintenance checks, small group sizes, and stringent safety standards are set by operators like Shotover Jet to ensure passengers' safe and secure ride. The driver closely monitors passengers throughout the ride and communicates with them easily. Show more

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