When I was planning my New Zealand itinerary, it’s the one thing my Auckland Airbnb hosts said I had to do when I got to Queenstown.

There are a lot of jet boats operating in New Zealand, including a handful in Queenstown. But there’s only one company that takes you on a thrill ride through the Shotover River canyons — the Shotover Jet.

These nimble boats can do 360 spins and operate in just a few inches of water. Their drivers are fun and friendly and not the least bit phased by whizzing *this close* to canyon walls at top speeds. Yikes!

Here’s one of their promotional videos that offers a little Shotover sampler … (NOTE: Currently, the video doesn’t seem to be embedding properly. You can also view it at this link)

This thrill didn’t exactly come cheap. One 25 minute ride cost me roughly $100 USD, but it was so much fun. I opted for the “instant replay” that allowed me to take a second ride immediately after the first. That cost an additional $14 which, technically, meant I paid $114 for two (GREAT!!!) rides. I’m really glad I did it.

And guess who else took a “royal” Shotover Jet ride?

Not during my visit, of course.

Shotover Jet is located 7km from central Queenstown, but there’s shuttle service for people (like me) who don’t have a car. Because the boats go so fast, and the winds get so fierce, cameras and bags aren’t allowed on board. Lockers are provided for storing personal stuff, and passengers get long “spray” jackets and life vests. The company also strongly recommends that riders wear hats and gloves during the winter months (they operate every day of the year, except Christmas). If I hadn’t worn a waterproof jacket with a very snug hood, I would’ve had a much colder, much wetter, ride.

But I had a GREAT ride. Two, actually, and I’d highly recommend the experience to anyone visiting Queenstown. Just like my Auckland hosts recommended it to me.

And just for fun … here are some more famous folks who’ve ridden the Shotover Jet.

Not during my visit, of course. 🙂