Your definitive guide to the top jetboat experiences in New Zealand
A road trip around New Zealand is even more epic when you add in a thrilling jetboat ride! This homegrown Kiwi invention allows you to explore scenic rivers and lakes at speed – and you’ll find the fastest, most picturesque and wildest jetboating experiences right here in New Zealand. Embrace the feeling of the wind rushing through your hair and the screams of joy as your talented driver takes you through twists and turns, where rocky cliffs, lush green outlooks and tree-lined canyons await around every corner. Upgrade your next holiday with an unforgettable jetboat ride – here’s a few of our favourites.
Velocity Valley’s very own jetboating experience is a must-do thrill on any Rotorua escape! It’s a sprint, not a marathon, so get ready to race through our custom-designed course at a breath-taking speed – you’ll have a blast through every twist and turn, including plenty of 360°’s! This ride is for the fast and the furious, reaching speeds of up to 100km/hr – imagine you’re flying in a Ferrari, but on water. The rush is sure to leave your blood pumping and your face grinning from ear-to-ear, so package it up with some of Velocity Valley’s other famous rides and keep the momentum going!
Get amongst Taupō’s most exciting boat ride for a true bucket-list experience! The thrilling white waters of the Nga Awa Purua Rapids are a sensation in themselves – as your driver ‘surfs’ the waves in a custom-built, 500-horsepower V8 engine jetboat. You’ll be left laughing and screaming in delight, with plenty of twists, turns and even some airtime too! Journey through the narrowest parts of the Waikato River, through canyons, fast-flowing waters and towards the Aratiatia Dam. Soak up the sights of the Mighty Waikato River and learn fun facts along the way – including its status as a filming location for some world-famous movies. They even have a cute ‘boss dog’ Max, who might join you for the ride!
Forgotten World Adventures
You’ve may have heard of the legendary Forgotten World Highway, but did you know the region is also home to a picture-perfect jetboat ride down the Whanganui River? Their Rail and River Run takes you on a 40km railcart journey along a historic train line, before embarking on an expedition of discovery down the Whanganui River by jetboat. Hear the stories of the early pioneers and settlers that spent their time cultivating the land and building villages on the banks of the river – it’s a magical and mystical region with plenty of tales to be told.
Fiordland National Park is well-known for its Great Walks and scenic day hikes, but here’s a way to explore the park in a whole new way! Jetboat down the picturesque Waiau River towards the scenic Lake Manapouri on their Pure Wilderness tour – you’ll learn lots about the intriguing history of the region and check out some Lord of the Rings filming locations too – the area was used as the Anduin River in the movies. Gaze in awe and wonder as you step back in time into ancient beech forest, spot some trout and hear native birds during a moment of quiet and tranquillity, before revving it up again for some spins and tricks.
Add to the adventure and return to Te Anau by mountain bike on the spectacular Lake2Lake Cycle Trail with their River Bike Ride & Jet package; or for the ultimate experience, the Jet n’ Fly combo takes you on a once-in-a-lifetime seaplane flight, with non-stop views across the entire national park from above.
Dart River Adventures
Arguably one of the most stunning locations in New Zealand is Mount Aspiring National Park – an unspoiled UNESCO World Heritage Area that’s full of fascinating flora and fauna. With its crystal-clear blue waters, towering mountain ranges and lush native forest, this near-untouched alpine landscape is the perfect backdrop for the area’s longest jetboating adventure. Travel from the head of Lake Wakatipu along the Dart River on their wilderness jet, or if speed isn’t your thing, enjoy a leisurely paddle on their ‘Funyaks’ with a tapestry of hidden streams and chasms to explore.
With such a wide range of jetboats on offer in New Zealand, the tough part is choosing which one to do first! From the Central North Island through to the Deep South, there’s an adventure to suit every thrill seeker. Make a splash and take in the sights of the gorgeous greenery surrounding you as you travel through New Zealand’s pure waterways. You’ll finish with your adrenaline cravings well and truly satisfied – be sure to share the magic on social media with friends and family back home too!