New Zealand Jet boating

Over the last four decades the thrill of a jet boating ride has become one of the iconic ‘must do‘ tourist activities for visitors to New Zealand.

Like rally cars on water jet boat’s use sliding turns and speeds of up to 80kmph to navigate shallow, braided river systems and an amazing ability to negotiate rapids. Commercial jet boating tours are relatively unique to New Zealand due to the fact that the first jet boat was developed here in 1954 by William Hamilton.

Since then exploring rivers in a ‘Hamilton Jet’ has become a great Kiwi activity and has opened up many otherwise inaccessible areas of New Zealand due to their manoeuvrability and ability to negotiate shallow braided river systems needing only a few inches of water to operate.

There are a number of jet boating trips around the country giving visitors a thrilling way to see the remote backcountry usually only seen from above on a scenic flight.

One of the more unique operators is River Journeys based out of Wanaka. As the only jet boating company to view glaciers, their trip up the Matukituki River leads into the heart of Mt Aspiring National Park with close up views of Southern Alps.

"This is a must do when visiting New Zealand - the U-Fly staff are so helpful and obliging - nothing is a trouble + the opportunity to fly a plane yourself is sensational."

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“Incredibly smooth and comfortable. The pilot was a total professional”

“The best thing I’ve done in New Zealand - and the best photos too!”