5 Best Jet Boat Tours in Queenstown© Miles Holden - Tourism New Zealand
5 Best Jet Boat Tours in Queenstown

5 Best Jet Boat Tours in Queenstown 🛥️ [2023]

© Miles Holden – Tourism New Zealand

Choose the Best Jet Boat in Queenstown!

In the “Adventure Capital of New Zealand,” it can be a little overwhelming to choose from the excessive list of adventure activities to tackle. If jet boating is on your bucket list, then you have more decisions to make choosing between the five jet boat tours in Queenstown! So which is the best jet boat in Queenstown? Well, we honestly think they are all epic, taking you on heart-pumping thrill rides through spectacular scenery. Each of the jet boat tours in Queenstown has its own unique aspects that we explain in the comparison of Queenstown jet boat tours below.

Plus, check out more epic jet boat experiences across the country in the 17 Places to Jet Boat in New Zealand or continue making your Queenstown bucket list with our 45 Best Things to Do in Queenstown. Don’t forget to find a place to stay in The 50 Best Accommodations in Queenstown.

1. Shotover Jet – The Most Extreme Jet Boat in Queenstown

You’ve probably already heard of Shotover Jet for a reason. Shotover Jet essentially put jet boating in New Zealand as a tourist activity on the map thanks to their exciting tour through the narrow and towering river canyons of the Shotover River. The exciting 25-minute experience takes you through a river gorge with dramatic scenery, incorporating near-misses with the canyon walls and full 360° spins along the way. The shape of the boat along with its powerful Hamilton jet propulsion system provides some of the sharpest turns and spins experienced in a jet boat. Find out more about the tour, read reviews and book tickets on Shotover Jet’s page on Viator, Tripadvisor and KKday.

Location: A courtesy shuttle leaves the Station Building in Queenstown every 15 minutes.

Shotover Jet© Shotover Jet

2. Skippers Canyon Jet – The Most Adventurous Jet Boat Tour in Queenstown

The jet boat ride is only part of the experience with Skippers Canyon Jet. Enjoy a scenic drive up Coronet Peak, stopping for photos of the views, before making your way by bus along the vertical cliff edges of the Skippers Canyon. Once you have arrived at the Shotover River, you’ll be taken on a thrill ride on shallow waters and through narrow canyons. See waterfalls and abandoned gold mining relics along the way, with stops in a few locations for your driver to tell you more about the area and show you a Lord of the Rings filming location. The tour is also packed with exciting near-misses, drifting and 360° spins. Allow three hours for this jet boat tour in Queenstown. Check out Skippers Canyon Jet on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: Tours depart from The Station building in Queenstown.

Skippers Canyon Jet© Skippers Canyon Jet

3. Dart River Wilderness Jet – The Most Scenic Jet Boat Tour in Queenstown

More than just a thrill ride, this jet boat tour is a journey into the wilderness. Dart River Wilderness Jet takes you deep into a UNESCO World Heritage Area of the Mt Aspiring National Park along shallow braided rivers fed by glaciers. Your nature guide will tell you about the area’s compelling history and ecology in between an epic ride along the river complete with spins and sharp turns. In the national park, you’ll stop for a walk among spectacular ancient beech forest and learn about the early Maori inhabitants of this area. The tour also includes a backcountry bus trip from Queenstown to the Dart River near Glenorchy. Allow about six hours for this full-day adventure! Get more details on tours with Dart River Wilderness Jet on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: Tours depart from The Station building in Queenstown at 8am and 12pm daily.

Dart River Wilderness Jet© Dart River Wilderness Jet

4. KJet – The Best Jet Boat in Queenstown for Families

This epic Queenstown jet boat tour departs right in the heart of Queenstown on the shores of the mighty Lake Wakatipu. Hop into the big yellow KJet jet boat and be transported from Queenstown, across the majestic Lake Wakatipu and onto the waters of the willow-lined Kawarau River. You’ll experience near-misses with the trees and the occasional swan before darting down the next river, the braided Shotover River. That’s one lake and two rivers all in one one-hour ride! The tour returns with 360-spins and exciting twists and turns the same way toward Queenstown. Allow one hour for this tour. Get more information from Viator, Tripadvisor and Klook.

This is also our top pick for families in Queenstown thanks to KJet’s irresistible family packages. See more family-friendly activities in the 20 Things to Do in Queenstown with Kids.

Location: Main Town Pier, Marine Parade. Tours depart on the hour every hour.

KJet © KJet

5. Go Orange Jet Boat – The Cheapest Jet Boat in Queenstown

Jump on the orange jet boat with Go Orange and experience the high-speed thrills of the Kawarau River and Lake Wakatipu. This Queenstown jet boat tour starts in an ideal location in Queenstown town centre at the Steamer Wharf. Cross the bumpy waters of Lake Wakatipu before delving down the Kawarau River with shallow waters tumbling over willow trees. The 360-spins, near-misses and high-speed thrills are all thrown in there for a complete jet boat experience. Allow 25 minutes or one hour for this tour (depending on what you choose), which is also one of the most affordable jet boat tours in Queenstown – ideal if you’re on a budget. Check out Viator, Tripadvisor or Klook for more details on the Go Orange Jet Boat.

Location: Steamer Wharf, tours depart hourly.

5 Best Jet Boat Tours in Queenstown© Go Orange

More About Queenstown

That’s it for the best jet boat tours in Queenstown but that’s not all for Queenstown. Discover more exciting endeavours in the following guides:

Finally, don’t forget to make your New Zealand bucket list using the 45 Best Things to Do in Queenstown and 101 Things to Do in New Zealand: The Ultimate List.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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