Day 38 on the Road
Blasting down the Whanganui River by Jet Boat
Today’s activity on New Zealand’s BIGGEST Gap Year is taking the Forgotten World Jet down the stunning Whanganui River!
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We’ve explored the Forgotten World by Railway and now we will explore the Forgotten World by river. We are taking on the Whanganui River by jet boat!
We are driving to somewhere called Cherry Grove. This is where we’re going to meet Alan which is going to be our mad jet boat driver. Alan gets us all geared up and well the only gear we need is a life jacket which we won’t be using. And yeah, we just hop in the jet boat. So what’s the top speed. 65-70 cruising, depending on how many people in. And when we speed how many Gs do we get? How many do you want? It wouldn’t be as much as a fighter jet I don’t think. Right up there.
As soon as the engine starts [roar noise] and we start moving like the nose of the boat moves really high up and we start moving really fast. We are flying down the Whanganui River and the wind is making tears stream down my face and I’m like ahhhhhh. And Laura, she’s doing the same thing she’s done when we were taking a boat in mercury island to go do some diving. As soon as the boat starts doing a bit of motion that she doesn’t understand or is going too fast she’s kind of looking at like like is that normal? Are you panicking or not? Ok. And she was having a blast but she was kind of giving me the same kind of like regular look. Down the river we go and you can tell Alan has a lot of fun driving this thing/ he’s just like going from one side of the river to the other side of the river and we’re going close to trees on the side. there’s also a few rapids going on. Over the past few days it’s been raining a shit lot and this has made the rivers full and created a guess a few extra rapids that aren’t usually there so we’re blasting down the river. Alan sees some rapids and we’re going like [noises] bouncing up and down as we go over these rapids it’s really fun.
Now scenery-wise the good thing about doing a jet boat on the Whanganui River is that when the river is quite wide and quite lengthy even blasting at 85km and hour you get the time to actually enjoy the sights and see the scenery.
At first the scenery is farmland. We’re seeing cows on the side, we’re seeing sheep and we’re also seeing on almost vertical cliff faces there are goats just hanging out on the side like what are you doing there goats?! All the goats we’ve found in the Forgotten World area are absolutely nuts. They’re either trying to commit suicide on railway tracks or their trying to commit suicide on the edge of cliffs. Past the farmland we then start to go into the majestic Whanganui National Park. There’s even a sign on the side of the river saying Whanganui National Park just to show how much traffic really comes down this river because it’s such a good river. It’s actually the longest navigable river in New Zealand. We’re delving into some dense native forest. The walls are getting steeper and we’re going into a bit of a gorge and all of these walls are just covered in vegetation. It looks beautiful.
And this is the section where the lavender farm is where we’re going to be stopping today to grab a quick bite so we’re actually not going to go up to the lavender farm we’re just going to stop beforehand. Now, this time we are going to go faster, he says, so I’m like how fast can we go? This is the fastest I have been going on a river in New Zealand. It’s real fast. And I expect it to be cold so I have the full thick jacket, I have my hat, I was like Ok I may nee dot wear some gloves but I did not get that cold, at all. I mean I was like having so much fun. Between the adrenaline and you know the motion, cos I was still always in motion, I didn’t get that cold. Alan is just like laughing because he’s loving life. He loves his investment in a jet boat that he can put on the Whanganui River. yeah, he’s having a ball, we’re all like waaaa, waaaa, waaa We’re having a whale of a time.
We’re speeding back upstream through the rocky formations and a little bit of the waves. Now the waves have a different shape when you take them upfront or from the back, right? So it was much more bouncy and we’re jumping a little bit more, blasting our way through all those curves of the river.
He just wants to go out and have some fun with some new people and that’s just what it feels like. Like a local’s experience with a dude that wants to have fun.
There’s a few ducks on the river that are just minding their own business but with the roar of the jet boat coming down the river they obviously look back and think like:”Oh my God, there’s a jet boat coming. Quack quack quack.” they just all of a sudden flap their wings like crazy go guys goooo!