Are you ready for the rollicking river ride of your life?
In New Zealand there is only one way to catch the canyons, go goggle-eyed in the gorges and ballistic on braided rivers – that is by jet boat.
Nothing can fully prepare you for the healthy dose of thrill therapy and euphoria you get from high-speed jet boat runs on wilderness rivers. It’s pure unbounded fun for thirty eye-watering, hair-streaming, white-knuckle minutes culminating in a 360 spin within one boat length.
Jet boating began in New Zealand around 1957 when William Hamilton built the first boat for the purpose of navigating the shallow shingle beds of Canterbury’s braided rivers. His ingenious design has an inboard engine sucking water into a tube where an impeller blows it out the stern nozzle in a high-speed jet stream. The boat is steered simply by turning the nozzle sideways.
Popular jet boating rivers in the North Island include the Whanganui, Motu, Rangitaiki, Kaituna and Waikato. In the south, Queenstown’s Shotover, Kawarau and Dart rivers are meccas for thrill seekers from every corner of the globe. The West Coast has several scenic boating rivers including the Waiatoto ‘Ocean to Alps’ safaris and Southland has a service at Otautau picking up trampers off the Hump Ridge Track.
If the Kiwis invite you to ‘come for a spin’, don’t hesitate, just do it. Feel the throbbing power of a 700 hp mega-jet as it lifts onto the plane, and be ready for the ‘spin’ – it blows you away.