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The Shotover Jet ride

What to expect

The only jet boat ride in the spectacular Shotover River Canyons, Shotover Jet has thrilled over 3 million people since 1965!

A thrilling ride

From the moment the accelerator hits the floor, your adrenaline hits the roof. You’ll speed over 10cm deep water, doing 360-degree spins along the famous Shotover River and deep into the spectacular Shotover River Canyons.

It’s an amazing white water ride, as the Shotover Canyon walls tower over you, your expert driver puts the state-of-the-art Big Red Jet Boat through its paces.

At 85km an hour, your driver will skillfully whip the powerful boat past rocky outcrops, skim around crags and boulders, and speed through the dramatic and narrow canyons.

Rock faces blur in your peripheral vision and the water sprays into a myriad of white water crystals with every turn.

Each jet boat ride is approximately 25 minutes.

You're in safe hands

With a fleet of seven identical, 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 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 us if you would like to discuss any safety matters.

Built for the canyons

Built here in Queenstown, Big Red was designed specifically to handle the Shotover River Canyons.

Made for maximum speed, strength and manoeuvrability, Big Red is powered by twin 350 Mercruiser V8 engines, producing a combined 700 horsepower. Propulsion, steering and control is 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.

We provide
  • Life jackets (mandatory).
  • Full length spray jackets (optional).
  • Onsite specialised photography service and ‘Jet Cam’ 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.