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Queenstown Speed & jet boat tours

Our most recommended Queenstown Speed & jet boat tours

Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

1. Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

Get an adrenaline rush on a 1-hour jet boat ride, operated by the world’s first commercial jet boat company. Take in stunning views of the Remarkable Mountains and journey up 2 of South Island’s most iconic rivers.  Depart from the heart of Queenstown, and climb aboard the big yellow jet boat at the Main Town Pier. Hold on tight as you accelerate across the water and feel the exhilaration of a high-powered twin-engine boat that powers across Lake Wakatipu. Experience the twists and spins as you enter the Kawarau River and race past rocks and under bridges at speeds of up to 95 kilometers per hour.  Grip the heated handrails and experience 360° spins while you speed up the shallow channels of the Shotover River. After 45 kilometers of pure adrenaline, return to the pier and see photos and videos from your trip.

Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

2. Queenstown: Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat Ride

Raft the Kawarau River, perhaps better known as the River Anduin in Lord of the Rings, for a great half-day activity in Queenstown This is a perfect introduction to whitewater rafting for first-timers. There will be plenty of rapids action plus time to sit back and enjoy the spectacular scenery. Catch the free shuttle from the centre of town out to the raft base where you will be fitted out with all your gear. From there, head back into the heart of Queenstown to catch your jet boat transfer. Take on the beginning 22 km of the Kawarau river at 95 km/h with thrilling 360-degree spins as you arrive at the rafting station. Your rafting adventure covers 8-kilometers of the river. Take on grade 2-3 rapids and perhaps the occasional grade 2-4 rapid, when there are higher water levels. These are usually easier to navigate and there is less risk of falling out. Enjoy flat stretches of river between the rapids where you have the opportunity to race your friends on the other rafts or jump out and swim. Keep an eye on the other rafts, as there is a good chance of a water fight. Conclude your adventure by rafting the longest commercially rafted rapid in New Zealand, the Dog Leg. This is a 400-meter long and grade 3/4 rapid. Add some extra excitement by joining in on the optional cliff jumping section, or sit back and watch your friends take a leap.

Queenstown: Dart River Canoe, Jet Boat & Paradise Day Trip

3. Queenstown: Dart River Canoe, Jet Boat & Paradise Day Trip

Combine wilderness jet boating with unique ‘Funyak’ inflatable canoes for a fun way to explore the Dart River located in the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park. Your full-day adventure begins with a courtesy transfer to Glenorchy from Queenstown.  Admire lakeside scenery as your local driver shares entertaining commentary about Lake Wakatipu and its legends. The spectacular 46-kilometer drive is considered one of the world’s top 10 scenic drives. Meet your friendly, experienced guides at the Dart River visitor center who will kit you out with all the equipment you’ll need for the day. Enjoy 1-hour of high-speed wilderness jet boating through the clear waters of the Dart River into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area and your Funyak launch site.  Start your paddle, soaking in the tranquillity as you float downstream on sparkling water. Explore hidden side streams, rock pools, and dramatic chasms under the expert guidance of your guides. Savor a delicious picnic lunch, which marks the midway point, before continuing downriver. At Paradise, climb aboard the bus for a back-country tour through the valley to Glenorchy. Immerse yourself in scenes and backdrops from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Your adventure concludes with your return to Queenstown. 

Queenstown: Kawarau River Jet Boat Adventure

4. Queenstown: Kawarau River Jet Boat Adventure

Discover Queenstown’s untouched and pristine wilderness during an authentic jet boat adventure across Lake Wakatipu and along the historic Kawarau River. Choose from a 25-minute or 1-hour experience and spend more time on the water with a convenient departure right from the heart of Queenstown. Depart from Thunder Bay next to Steamer Wharf in the heart of Queenstown and travel far up the Kawarau River, covering a distance of 47 km. Along the way, listen to interesting commentary from your experienced driver. After getting equipped with a life jacket, climb on board and experience exhilarating 360-degree spins, skimming the water at speeds of up to 95 km/hour.  Then, travel down the river where it is calmest, even when the lake is rough. Take your camera along to capture the stunning scenery of your jet boat experience with frequent photo opportunities.

Queenstown: Half-Day Dart River Jet Boat & Paradise Tour

5. Queenstown: Half-Day Dart River Jet Boat & Paradise Tour

Discover breathtaking World Heritage scenery, exhilarating wilderness, thrilling jet boating, and Maori heritage on a half-day adventure. Travel deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park with the only jet boat operator allowed on the Dart River. Throughout the day, your experienced guides will add a personal touch, sharing the area’s history, the Greenstone trail, and Maori legends.  Your half-day adventure begins with a courtesy transfer to Glenorchy from Queenstown. Admire lakeside scenery as your local driver shares entertaining commentary about Lake Wakatipu and its legends. The spectacular 46-kilometer drive is considered one of the world’s top 10 scenic drives. Arrive at the Dart River visitor centre and be equipped with everything you need for your jet boat experience. Climb aboard and discover a unique combination of breathtaking scenery matched with thrilling high speeds.  Enjoy 2 hours of thrilling high-speed on a jet boat ride through Dart River’s wilderness. Skim across braided, glacier-fed rivers into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area. You’ll travel as far up the river as possible, before returning to Glenorchy back down the Dart River to immerse yourself in scenes and backdrops from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Return to Glenorchy and join the courtesy transfer back to Queenstown.  Sample Itinerary: 08:30 AM Courtesy transfer from Queenstown to Glenorchy 09:30 AM Dart River jet boat experience 11:30 AM Return to Glenorchy 1:00 PM Arrive Queenstown

Frequently asked questions about Queenstown

What top attractions are a must-see in Queenstown?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Queenstown?

The best day trips and excursions from Queenstown are:

Milford Sound

What are the best inexpensive tours in Queenstown?

Other Sightseeing Options in Queenstown

Want to discover all there is to do in Queenstown? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Queenstown

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 84 reviews

I highly recommend KJet for the thrilling ride of your life! You get excitement, beautiful scenery, and the staff there are excellent. You even get to download video and photo's of your experience after your trip is over. 10 out of 10 KJet! I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful ride!

Great, fun experience. Staff were friendly. Booking and checking in was easy. Thank you.

The tour lasted an hour, most other offers are much shorter and cost much more.

We all had a great time, suitable for all ages, thank you.

Great family fun! Grandma and family had an amazing trip!