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Shotover River

Shotover River: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

Shotover River: Extreme Jet Boat Experience

2. Shotover River: Extreme Jet Boat Experience

Take on the ultimate jet boat experience on the Shotover River for a breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons, located less than a 10-minutes drive from Queenstown. A short drive from Queenstown will have you at the shores of the Shotover River. Meet your experienced guide and gear up for your high-speed jet boat ride. Hold on tight as the driver expertly navigates the jet boat over white-water rapids and squeezes through the narrow walls of the Shotover Canyon. Speed past rocky outcrops, skim around boulders, and zip through the dramatic and narrow canyons as its walls tower above you. After 25 thrilling minutes, return to the jet base and relax on the shuttle transfer back to Queenstown.

From Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

3. From Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Start the tour with a fun drive to the rafting take-off point via Skippers Canyon. The 4x4 drive is an experience in itself; the narrow dirt road hugs the canyon's sheer cliffs and offers spectacular views over the river you'll soon be soaring down. At the rafting base, get fitted in all your gear and listen to a full safety briefing.  Begin your whitewater rafting adventure from Deep Creek. Cruise over peaceful waters before heading towards the exhilarating rapids of the lower canyon. Feel the adrenaline pumping as you paddle through the rapids and into the darkness of the historic, 550-foot Oxenbridge Tunnel before shooting over Cascade Rapid to complete your adventure.

Skippers Canyon Thrilling Jet Boat Ride & Scenic Transfers

4. Skippers Canyon Thrilling Jet Boat Ride & Scenic Transfers

Enjoy a spectacular guided tour of Skippers Canyon followed by a thrilling jet boat ride through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River. Take on the only jet boat ride where you experience the historic gold mining relics that still remain in the riverand Lord of the Rings locations.  Meet your friendly driver in central Queenstown and head up into historic Skippers Canyon. Enjoy live on-board commentary from your knowledgeable driver and marvel at the stunning scenery.  Journey through a land rich in gold mining history and breathtaking views via the infamous Skippers Canyon Road, hand-carved out of the vertical rock face over 120 years ago.  Upon arrival to the Shotover River, you will be provided with a life jacket and warm gloves. Feel your adrenaline surge as you power deep into Skippers Canyon through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River.  Highly skilled jet boat drivers maneuver the boat just inches from the sheer canyon walls. Experience speeds in excess of 80kph and a series of full 360° spins.  After your ride, take you back to the jet boat base to view footage from your ride before the trip back to Queenstown through the breathtaking canyon.

Queenstown: Progressive Dinner and Wine Tour at 3 Locations

5. Queenstown: Progressive Dinner and Wine Tour at 3 Locations

Experience the very best of Queenstown’s renowned wineries and restaurants by night on the region’s first progressive dinner tour. We take you on a social night out to meet new friends with amazing local wines and stunning food. Start your evening with a scenic drive to Arthurs Point to enjoy an entrée and an award winning gin/vodka tasting flight. Take a drive through the valley of the vines for a stunning main paired with local Central Otago wines in the Gibbston Valley wine region. Wrap up your night with a decadent dessert in the heart of Queenstown paired with an after-dinner digestif, cocktail or wine with views to the lake.

Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Trip

6. Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Trip

Enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting on this river trip. Raft past the rugged beauty of the Shotover River, drive into Skippers Canyon, and cool off in the water. Meet in Queensland and hop on a bus to head to Skippers Canyon and the Shotover River. At the river, get into your wetsuit and learn about your rafting equipment from your guide. After a safety briefing, get into the water to begin your adventure. Raft down the Shotover, shooting through 6 grade 4-5 rapids. Navigate the Aftershock, Squeeze, Toilet, and Pinball rapids, before entering the darkness of the 170-meter-long Oxenbridge Tunnel. Between rapids, enjoy the calm water and the canyon's natural beauty. Cool off with a swim in the river or relax in the sun. Finish your rafting adventure with the challenging Cascade Rapid before arriving back at the base in Queenstown.

Other Sightseeing Options in Shotover River

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

What people are saying about Shotover River

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 313 reviews

This experience was everything I expected it to be and more. The guide was very informative. The road into the canyon was spectacular. Not for the feint hearted. It's a 2 way road wide enough, for the most part, only one vehicle. Glad we didn't encounter one coming the other direction ;) The jet boat was AWESOME. The driver was clearly VERY experienced. Would highly recommend to anyone just thinking about it. JUDT DO IT!!!

We have been here a week and done a few touristy things , this was by far the most amazing thing we have done. We had a great guide / driver and what an amazing drive we had the most hectic drive but done safely. Also very capable and professional jet boat driver. It was fun , informative and highly recommended . If you only want to do one thing …, do this

Was very informative and the best scary drive and jet boat ride I have ever experienced. Thoroughly enjoyed it

Had a blast, loved every minute especially the spins and thrill as we went in the canals.

It was fun plus i also got to see so much of Queenstown by the lake and the rivers!