Jet Boating in Queenstown  –  New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year – Backpacker Guide New Zealand

Jet Boating in Queenstown – New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year – Backpacker Guide New Zealand


Today we’re gonna be doing jet boating in
Queenstown which is I think we’re quite spoiled for choice in Queenstown with… That is not
the right grammatical terms there. Today we’re going to jet boat in the narrowest part of
the Shotover river. This morning we are being picked up by the
team at Skippers Canyon Jet and the journey to get to the jet boat ride is an adventure
in itself. We are going down Skipper Canyon Road once more which is one of the worlds
most dangerous roads and an absolute blast to drive on. After a quick scenic stop to
take some photos we are now heading now on the more dangerous part of the Skippers Road
and along the way our driver Rusty is telling us about this road was made. About 120 years
ago by miners who literally had to build this road on the edge of sheer cliff faces. The road was built for small chariots pulled
by horses and not for the big buses that we are using today. So it is a very thin and
narrow road and there is even a section of it called Bus Scratch Corner which gets it’s
name from well you can guess right. Rusty is also telling us about the gold mining
history of the area as well and how gold was actually discovered here by two maori shepherds
in 1862 and this sort of sparked the whole gold rush era in Queenstown. All along the way the views are absolutely
astonishing from the backdrop of the mountains to the milky blue waters of the Shotover River
below. It’s stunning. But we are here for a thrill ride. We are
here to get our adrenaline shot on the Shotover River and we are going to be boarding on one
of the fastest jet boat rides in New Zealand, the Skippers Canyon Jet. As soon as we board we are getting a little
safety briefing it’s very simple the exit on the boat are on every single side and don’t
jump don’t stand and if the driver is making a massive sign that means we’re going to be
doing a 360 degree spin and the first thing that he tells us is we’re gonna go fast and
we’re gonna do a lot of those spins. Our driver, Kevin, is taking us at full speed
down the Shotover River we are going over rapids, we are having near misses with towering
river gorge cliff faces we are doing 360 degree spins which is the most famous move a jet
boat can do it can spin all the way round in the water on one point it is crazy. The area has a huge amount of historical significance
in New Zealand it has a gold mining history it has a maori history and a farming history
which is basically what New Zealand is known for. But we don’t hear any of the comments
that Kevin is giving us because he’s rushing at full speed through the canyon and we are
stuck to the back of our seats because of the G force and the speed of the jet boat.
In fact, the jet boat is going as fast as 80km/h which maybe doesn’t sound that fast
but right on the surface of the water it is an ungodly speed and with constant near misses
and 360 degree spins we really do not have a second to gather our thoughts and even think
about what the hell is happening to us right now. It is crazy. The scenery around us is amazing we are surrounded
by these towering rocky cliffs and the water such a vivid blue it’s so awesome. And Kevin
is taking a few stops along the way to explain a little bit more about the area including
a Lord of the Rings filming location where Arwen is being chased by the Ring Wraiths. This will mark the turning point for our tour.
We are now making our way back toward the base and Kevin tells us that this is gonna
be even faster than on the way we did before because he’s not gonna stop to give us any
insights or any commentaries it’s just full speed back to the base. He’s really pushing
the jet boat to it’s limits going as fast as he can and actually jet boats were invented
in New Zealand because we have so many shallow rivers here and jet boat are the easiest and
most maneuverable way to navigate on them. I now understand why we got given some waterproof
jackets because we are getting splashed at every single turn but because it’s so hot
today and there is so much wind due to the speed of the jet boat we are almost drying
instantly it’s a very weird as feeling. One of the epic things about this jet boat
as well is it is really undeterred by even the canyon the speed and the rapids we are
passing through quite a few absolutely epic rapids and the jet boat just doesn’t stop.
Jet boating is unlike any other boating experience and it has to be a must-do in New Zealand.
There’s so many awesome jet boat tours and this is definitely one of them where you really
get to experience how they effortlessly go along the water and can get so close to the
cliff edge without crashing into them. As we get toward the end of this jet boat
tour I start to get a little more used to the speed so I can really embrace the environment
that we’re in and I can’t believe that gold miners used to work in this sort of environment.
It’s crazy. We get a couple of moments to take some last
photos of the jet boat speeding off and then it’s back onto the bus and back down the treacherous
Skippers Road for some more epic views on our way back to Queenstown. Back in Queenstown we are meeting up with
the team back at Nomads Queenstown because they do offer really cheap as meals for any
of their guests. We are actually heading to a bar called the Loco Cantina where we can
have dinner for only 3 bucks and that’s happening every single night. All these people are Loco for Loco. It feels
like almost everybody in our hostel is actually queuing up to get this 3 dollar meal no one
seems to want to be cooking in Queenstown everybody wants a cheap meal to go out afterwards. I’m tucking in it’s free no it’s not it’s
3 dollars. After our meal we feel a little bit peckish
so we head across the road to fergbaker the little sister of the world famous Fergburger
joint. Guys there is literally we are in Ferg bakery
right here there is a ton of delicious shit and Laura picked a raisin danish look how
yummy that looks, right. But she picked that stuff. Right here. Literally looks like an
a-hole. Look at all that stuff she picked a raisin danish. Look at that, there’s strawberries and chocolate
on it. Guess what she picked. A freaking danish. So Laura picked the most boring pastry she
could in Fergbakery. And I picked something amazing which is chocolate donut. Well let’s
look at the size for a second. Well let’s look at the size of our asses and see what
happens. Let’s look at the size of my stomach and my smile after I’ve eaten this compared
to yours which is going to be a frown more than anything. And it’s with some awesome food that we end
yet another awesome adrenaline-fuelled day in Queenstown. Tomorrow we are getting back on the Shotover
River we are going to drive skippers canyon road again because we are going white water
rafting on that goddamn river again. So this river has not finished entertaining us. There
is more to do on the Shotover River so don’t miss it.

4 thoughts on “Jet Boating in Queenstown – New Zealand’s Biggest Gap Year – Backpacker Guide New Zealand

  1. Love love love that you picked Skipper's Canyon Jet! After months of research on all the companies this is the one we will be going with in March. #1 because of being in a LoTRs spot and #2 that DRIVE! wow! So excited to take my husband and kids on this road!!!

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