The Shotover Jet ride

What to expect

Exclusive access to the Spectacular Shotover Canyons with the only company permitted to operate within them. Shotover Jet is the world-famous jet boat ride. We regularly thrill movie stars and royalty!

Proudly owned by Ngāi Tahu, the Māori people of this land, our connection to the Kimiākau (Shotover River) goes back centuries, before the arrival of Europeans. An experience like no other, we authentically combine adrenaline, pristine natural landscape and our Ngāi Tahu culture into one unforgettable experience! 

A thrilling ride 

From the moment you leave the jetty, your adrenaline hits the roof. You’ll speed over water as shallow as 10cm, experiencing 360-degree spins along the famous Shotover River and deep into the Spectacular Shotover Canyons. As the only company permitted to operate within these canyons, it’s an irreplaceable white water ride.  

Our high-performance boats are made for speed, travelling at up to 90 kilometres an hour. As the Canyon walls tower over you, your expert driver puts the state-of-the-art Jet Boat through its paces, riding the rapids and performing thrilling, gravity-defying stunts within a hair’s breadth of the awe-inspiring cliff faces.

Get ready for wall-to-wall canyon action from start to finish! There are no lakes here.

Each jet boat ride is approximately 25 minutes.

We provide

  • Life jackets (mandatory).

  • Full-length spray jackets (optional).

  • Onsite photography service and video cameras mounted on your jet boat to capture your experience. Photos and video highlights of your trip are available for no obligation viewing immediately after your trip.

  • Lockers to store your belongings during your ride. 

You're in safe hands

With a fleet of seven identical V8, twin-engine jet boats and an unparalleled maintenance and risk management programme, Shotover Jet continues to raise industry safety standards.

We have been operating commercial jet boats in the Shotover River Canyons continuously since 1965. Over that time, and into the future, safety remains our main consideration.

Our aim is to ensure that our visitors enjoy a thrilling experience that meets the very highest safety standards. Please feel free to contact our friendly team if you would like to discuss any safety matters. 

Built for the canyons

Built here in Queenstown, our state-of-the-art Jet Boats were designed specifically to handle the Shotover Canyons.

Made for maximum speed, strength and manoeuvrability, our boats are powered by twin 350 Mercruiser V8 engines, producing a combined 700 horsepower. Propulsion, steering and control are provided through two Hamilton 212 jet units, thrusting 760 litres of water per second.

Water is drawn in through two intakes at the bottom of the boat, two jet units containing internal propellers then compress and drive the water out through two jet nozzles at the rear, at nearly 400 litres of water per second per jet unit. It’s the force of this water that propels the jet boat.

Steering is achieved by turning the jet nozzles, which changes the direction of the water forced out the back of the jet boat. It can also brake and reverse using deflectors and thrust buckets, similar to a jet aircraft.