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11+ Best Jet Boat Tours In New Zealand [Nationwide]

best jet boat tours nz

Our country is full of beautiful scenery and therefore you should use only the best jet boat tours in New Zealand when you decide that you want to experience a thrill.

Whether you want an adrenaline rush or you want to see some beautiful scenery like no other, these businesses have every type of trip and adventure covered.

All of these boating companies are highly trained and experienced, they prioritise your safety while at the same time providing you with a fun and memorable experience.

From the north island to the south island, we've got the best tour guides that you can get in this write-up that we've conducted today, read on below to see who could take you out on your next adventure.

Best Jet Boat Tours In New Zealand


1. Shotover Jet

  • Extensive experience
  • Exclusive tours
  • Thrilling & adrenaline packed experience

As a jet boat ride that has provided thrilling tours through the Shotowa River since 1965, Shotover Jet is a fantastic choice in New Zealand.

Led by the Maori people of the land, this tour is an exhilarating ride through canyons intimately known by their ancestors.

If you’re a thrillseeker, travelling up to 80 km per hour through the twists and turns of these canyons will leave you literally spinning with excitement.

Shotover Jet offers a truly exclusive experience as they own the rights to tour the canyons of this river. This experience was one of the very first adventure activities in Queenstown; a tour that has really stood the test of time.

Shotover Jet boast their experience as the most exciting of its kind in the world, where you can simultaneously enjoy the beauty of New Zealand while delighting in an action-packed ride.

Customer Review

Alicia Halberg left this google review:

“So glad we chose Shotover Jet! Super fun ride with an excellent driver. Tons of 360s and riding close to the canyon walls.”

Address: 3 Arthurs Point Road, Queenstown

Phone: +64 3 442 8570

PriceFrom $159 (Single adult pass)


2. Rapids Jet

  • Safe, custom built boats
  • 30 years experience
  • One of a kind experience

If you’re looking for an invigorating jet ride through white water rapids on the Waikato River, Rapids Jet will exceed all of your expectations.

Rapids Jet boats are made in New Zealand by experts boasting over 30 years of valuable experience and are custom built for the specific terrain of the Waikato River, so you’re safe in their boats and hands.

Known as the number one boat activity in Taupo, Rapids Jet offers an unparalleled experience where stunning scenery and an exciting plough through whitewaters collide. What better combination is there?

The Rapids Jet experience is completely unique, offering New Zealand’s only jet boat ride through whitewater.

Even better, as thrillseekers themselves, the Rapids Jet team comprises not only four expert jet boat drivers, but also includes two canine companions who won’t shy away from accompanying you on some boating fun.

So, for an exclusive white water boating experience in New Zealand and the assurance of a safe ride, Rapids Jet is the place to go.

Customer Review

Ira Grey left this google review:

“Amazing day out! Our driver Shannon was amazing and you could tell he was so into his job and he was so enthusiastic which was great. Would 100% do it again!”

Address: Nga Awa Purua Rd, off Rapids Rd, Aratiatia, Taupo 3378

Phone: +64 7 374 8066

Price: From $129 (Single adult pass)


3. Huka Falls Jet

  • 30 years industry experience
  • Low prices
  • Thrilling yet safe

You can experience the serenity of the Huka Falls and enjoy a jet boat ride through the Waikato River with Huka Falls Jet for excellent prices, making it the perfect choice for a family outing.

Hookah Falls Jet has been in operation for 30 years, meaning the company has rich and extensive industry experience.

Importantly, they still prioritise technological innovation in their boats that ensure greater safety and speed, having enriched the experiences of over 895,000 customers.

Their unforgettable experience features 360 degree spins, high speeds and tight maneuvers past rock cliffs, making it one of the best and most exciting adventure activities in Taupo.

What makes Huka Falls Jet one of the best providers in the area are their low prices, including a family pass that allows one child to ride for free!

Customer Review

Alisa Andrew left this google review:

“Loved it.. stunning vista and the Falls were amazing ! Our driver was awesome. many thrills and 360s! Totally buzzing at the end!”

Address: Karetoto Road, Wairakei, 3377

Phone: +64 7 374 8572

PriceFrom $99 (Single adult pass)


4. Auckland Jet Boats

  • New Zealand owned & operated
  • Low prices
  • Prioritize safety

Value a business that is completely New Zealand owned and operated? Auckland Jet Boats can provide you with a thrilling yet safe and secure adventure jet boat ride, offered by locals.

Auckland Jet Boat tours are ensured to be a completely safe way of taking in the stunning surroundings of the Auckland City and Harbour, with an added element of fun.

Their informative tours are carried out on the high-speed ‘Ruby Red Lips’ boat, offering a great way to take in what Auckland has to offer.

What’s the best part? Auckland Jet Boats offer some of the best prices in the industry, with adult passes starting at just $90.

Whether you’re part of a corporate or school group or just a thrillseeker looking for adventure, Auckland Jet Boats makes the experience affordable through group discounts.

Customer Review

Louisa Corric left this google review:

“Love love loved this tour. Skipper was hilarious and made everyone feel at ease. So much fun had by all. Highly recommend these guys.”

Address: Top of the tidal steps, Karanga Plaza, Wynyard Quarter

Phone: +64 9 948 6657

Price: From $90 (Single adult pass)


5. K Jet Queenstown

  • Affordable prices
  • Largest boat capacity
  • Competitive pricing

If you’re looking for both a trusted reputation and commitment to environmental sustainability, KJet is a great, family owned business that will leave you with lasting memories of Queenstown’s beautiful sights.

Their fleet of eight boats caters to groups of families and adventure seekers, while also including a jet boat with the largest capacity in the country, meaning KJet is the perfect choice for any occasion.

Most impressive is their commitment to operating their boats through efficiency-increasing technological advancements, so their tours of New Zealand’s beauty do minimal damage to the environment.

Reaching speeds of 95 km per hour, the KJet experience lets you fly across the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers with phenomenal views.

KJet’s price for these unmatchable memories is a low $89 for a full hour, meaning their thrilling experience is available to travellers and locals with all kinds of b

Customer Review

Russell King left this google review:

“Wow this was amazing - we were only 30 seconds into the trip and our daughters were already saying ‘I want to do this again it is the most fun ever’.”

Address: Sugar Lane, Frankton Marina, Queenstown 9300

Phone: +64 3 442 6142

Price: From $89 (Single adult pass)


6. Skippers Canyon Jet

  • Experienced, highly skilled drivers
  • Exclusive sights on jet boat tour
  • Unique bus tour

Interested in a jet boat and bus tour that flies through a gold mining area dating back 120 years? Skipper Canyon Jet is the perfect choice for those who love both a thrill and a learning experience.

This tour of Skippers Canyon includes a scenic and informative bus ride to the destination, topped off with a 30 minute experience jet boating through the upper Shotover River.

Guiding you through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River, the experienced drivers at Skippers Canyon Jet promise a heart-stopping experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat through jutting turns, narrow dodges and high speeds.

So, for a completely exclusive jet boating tour that grants views of Lord of The Rings filming locations and authentic gold mining sights, Skippers Canyon Jet is a fantastic option in the Queenstown area.

Customer Review

Sue Coleman left this google review:

“Loved this trip. Getting there in the bus down the canyon road was an experience in itself. The jet boat ride was brilliant fun. Would recommend!”

Address: Skippers Road, Queenstown, 9300

Phone: +64 3 442 9434

Price: From $159 (Single adult pass)


7. Dart River Jet Boating

  • Exclusive views of heritage sites
  • Relaxed touring experience
  • Not wild yet beautiful scenery

Not as much of a thrillseeker as you are a fan of Queenstown’s beautiful lakes, beaches, forests and mountains, but still want to have fun while viewing them?

Dart River Jet Boating offers a scenic jet boat ride through the UNESCO world heritage site of the Mt Aspiring National Park, allowing you to take in your stunning surroundings while enjoying the benefits of exhilarating spins and splashes in a jet boat.

As the only jet boat providers licensed to drive through the Dart River’s expansive and challenging trails, their tour is a completely exclusive and unique way to view parts of New Zealand that have been preserved for over 80 million years.

Customer Review

Louise Poppy left this google review:

“Had so much fun on the Dart River jet boat experience. Not too wild so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery without being thrown around with too many 360s.”

Address: Dart Visitor Centre, 45 Mull Street, Glenorchy, NZ

Phone: +64 3 442 9992

Price: From $259 (Single adult pass)


8. Go Orange Jet Boat

  • Low prices
  • Furthest distance travelled
  • Reputation for fun and adventure

For an invigorating and flexible jet boat ride starting in the beautiful Queenstown Bay, Go Orange Jet Boat is one of the best adventure activity options if you’re looking to admire some of New Zealand’s best sights.

Their Jet Boat experience can be completed in 25 or 60 minutes and focuses on adrenaline-pumping spins, obstacle dodging and high speeds down Lake Wakatipu.

It’s an all-rounded offer, as low prices starting from just $49 gets you a family-friendly, high speed, safe tour guided by expert drivers.

Even better, Go Orange travels the furthest distance up the Kawarau River at 44km, granting you a truly unique experience with a company holding a reputation for fun and exceptional customer service.

Customer Review

A customer by the name of Annie left this review:

“We did the Jet Boat experience for an hour. It was great fun. Do yourself a favour and go. Super safe, super fun, lots of laughter and beautiful scenery. Could not recommend enough.”

Address: Queenstown

Phone: +64 3 442 7340

PriceFrom $49 (Single adult pass)


9. Wanaka River Journeys

  • Forest walk included
  • Informative experience
  • Range of package deals

For an adrenaline-pumping tour of Matukituki, one of New Zealand’s most scenic rivers, be sure to go with Wanaka River Journeys and enjoy their package deal.

Not only do they boast their experience as the longest and most adventurous of its kind, Wanaka River Journeys include a striking guided walk through one of the most stunning moss covered forests, past waterfalls and sparkling streams in the area to top off your day.

Being able to view both Mount Aspiring and the accompanying Glaciers makes this an exclusive adventure experience in Queenstown. What better way to learn about the land than through first hand experience, guided by local experts?

So, Wanaka offers more than a thrilling jet boat ride through a famous world heritage area, they also allow customers to immerse themselves in their surroundings in a tranquil, relaxing fashion.

Wanaka’s range of package deals are fit to suit a range of budgets and travel checklists!

Customer Review

Ben Warren left this google review:

“Awesome (in the true sense of the word) experience. Wanaka is alpine beauty on your doorstep and this jet boat tour puts you in the heart of it.”

Address: 99 Ardmore Street, Wanaka, 9343

Phone: +64 3 443 4416

Price: From $249 (Single adult pass)


10. Discovery Jet

  • Customisable packages
  • Wide range of packages
  • Competitive pricing

Discovery Jet offers one of the most versatile and flexible ways to enjoy the thrill of jet boat riding through one of New Zealand’s most scenic gorges and waterways.

Whatever your interests, Discovery Jet has a combo package to suit your particular needs. From horse riding, archery, claybird shooting and helicopter rides, to rafting and even customisable drop-offs in your desired location for privacy, Discovery Jet makes their experience ideal for everyone.

With a reputation for unmatchable sights of the Southern Alps and hair-raising rides through crystal clear waters, Discovery Jet offers a premium jet boat ride that their crew strives to make unique and special for each customer.

Equally impressive are their diverse prices, ranging from a $45 Bronze pass to a $99 Discovery pass if you’re in search of a jet boat ride without extra package add-ons.

Customer Review

A customer by the name of Dianne left this testimonial:

“It was so much fun. A great experience to share with the grandchildren. We had a very skilled driver with excellent local knowledge. Thank you!”

Address: Rakaia Gorge Bridge, State Highway 72, Mid Canterbury

Phone: 0800 538 2628

Price: From $45 (Single adult pass)


11. Wilkin River Jets

  • Informative and experienced guides
  • Shallow water skimming experience
  • Safe and thrilling

Looking for a shallow water jet boating experience?

Wilkin River Jets offers the perfect combination of a thrilling skim across the waters of the Wilkin and Makarora Rivers with an informative tour of the Mt Aspiring National Park.

If you’re not shy of getting wet on your jet boating ride, Wilkin River Jets is the perfect option for you. This exhilarating experience spans over 50km of historical bodies of water in New Zealand.

Not only will the ice capped mountains and native forests amaze you through this journey, the historical and geographical teachings about the region will enrich your experience greatly.

This River Safari package can even be upgraded to a Heli-Jet combo package, where the stunning views on offer can be seen from a different perspective following a high speed tour of the Wilkin River.

Customer Review

Denise Parnwell left this Facebook review:

“Great day out, the helicopter pilot was a lovely guy. Very informative and knowledgeable.”

Address: Makarora, Haast Pass Highway SH6

Phone: +64 3 443 8351

Price: From $130 (Single adult pass)


Are jet boat tours in New Zealand safe?

Absolutely, all of these commercial jet boat tour operators have highly trained and experienced staff who have your safety as their number one priority.

To get your jet boating license you must complete 50+ hours on the water training. On top of this most commercial jet boat operators have additional training before drivers are allowed to take passengers. 

They will give you safety instructions and a life jacket prior to any trips and they will explain the safety procedures in depth, as long as you listen to their instructions and guidelines you will be fine.

These businesses must comply with strict safety regulations in order to conduct their business and they are regularly checked on by Maritime NZ who ensure that each tour company is abiding by all of the rules and regulations.

You can rest assured in knowing that each touring company we've included in today's write up all meet the safety requirements and regulations set out by Maritime NZ.

How long do jet boat tours last?

Most tours are only around 15-25 minutes and time flies due to the exhilarating nature of your tour. Tours such as Kjet in Queenstown offer a 60 minute tour which is definitely a better experience if you want value for money. If you want to go up the river to the rapids, where the fun really starts, you'll only get around 20 minutes on the boat, as the river isn't long enough to offer longer tours. 

Some companies offer free shuttle buses from town to the base, and these bus journeys are often much longer than your actual time on the river. 

Do I get wet on a jet boat tour?

You will get wet however most companies offer a poncho or spray jacket which goes over your clothes and under your life jacket to keep you dry. 

In winter it can be pretty chilly so you'll definitely want to wrap up warm, while in summer, getting a little wet is all part of the fun. I always wear a coat and then the poncho, and my clothes stay dry! My hair on the other hand is always a bit messy and wet after. 

How fast do jet boats go? 

The boats can go up to 95km/h in a straight line on shallow rivers such as the Shotover. As you get up into the canyons and smaller rivers such as where the Shotover Jet and Skippers Canyon jet operate, you'd never be able to achieve these speeds due to the nature of the river. 

Some jet boating companies like to promote their jet boats as the fastest but this makes little difference to your experience as you have absolutely no idea how fast you're actually going. 

How much water do jet boats need?

Some jet boats only need 4" of water to operate, although operating at this level of water can scrape the bottom of the boat especially if there's rocks or wood in the water. 

This is what the jet boat was invented for, very similar to a jet ski which uses a jet propulsion engine which sits just below the water surface, allowing for gliding over the water at depths as low as only 4" or 10 cm of water. 

Will I get sea sick on a jet boat tour?

While jet boats don't go out on the open water (except in Auckland harbour), they do go up and down the rapids, as well as bob up and down in the water like any boat, so it's highly likely if you're prone to sea sickness you will feel unwell on a jet boating tour. 

Getting off in the event you're unwell is embarrassing as the tour has to stop for everyone else while they return you to base or the edge of the river to walk back to base. If you're prone to sea sickness, either find a different tour or take some sea legs before you board. I'd also skip breakfast! 

How much does the average jet boating tour cost?

Prices can range between each company and depending on what type of tour you are doing and for old old the person that you are paying for is.

Some general prices you may expect to see across most jet boating tours are ass follows:

  • $60-100 for a child.
  • $100-$160 for an adult.
  • $200-$400 for family packages which usually cover 2 adults and two children under the ages of 15.

These are just general prices to give you a rough idea, you may encounter cheaper or more expensive tours between different companies and different types of tours.

What types of things will I see and do in a tour?

Each company offers different types of tours and different types of beautiful scenery for you to see, in general you can expect to see all kinds of beautiful views of forestry, wild animals and waterfalls.

Some tours take you through various areas where you can see historical heritage sights which are truly unique.

Most tours will showcase their boats speeds and give you a good adrenaline rush full of 360 degree turns and high octane speeds.

You can choose prior to going out on a tour on whether you want a high speed adrenaline rush type of tour or a more slower and calmer scenic type of tour.

All jet boating companies offer a wide range of different types of tours to suit everyone whether it be for and adult or a child.

There are more things that haven't been mentioned here that these businesses will show you on their tour, each company is different and you will generally be told by them what they offer in their tours on their website or in our write up for each business above.

Now that you know where to get the best jet boating experience from you may also be interested in our other write up on the Best Sky Diving Companies in New Zealand because sky diving is another past time that will give you just as much of a thrill as jet boating.

Written By

Passionate blogger, writer and mum of three. Currently living in Te Horo, Wellington. Background in IT, with a PHD from Victoria University in Software Engineering. I like to explore New Zealand, and love a good adventure. I started Top Rated to share my experiences with others.

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