If you are planning a trip to New Zealand and looking for adventure activities, make sure you add jet boating to your list. Not only does New Zealand have some of the best jet boating in the world, but we were also responsible for inventing what has become one of the most exciting and thrilling activities you can get involved with. If you’ve never done it before, then you’re in luck. New Zealand doesn’t just have a couple of places you can give it a go – we have lots of places throughout the country so we wanted to pull together a list of the best place for jet boating in New Zealand to make sure you don’t miss out.

Whether you’re a Kiwi who has not yet given jet boating a whirl or you are planning a trip from overseas, make sure you check out some of these amazing locations and add jet boating into your itinerary the next time you take a holiday in New Zealand.

Here are 9 of our favourite destinations for jet boating in New Zealand.

1. Auckland

We start our journey in the City of Sails, somewhat ironically given no sails are required. It’s not the place you might immediately think of as a jet boating destination, but when you consider it has the glorious waters of the Hauraki Gulf before it, it makes a heck of a lot of sense. Auckland Jet Boat Tours agreed and offer an awesome 35-minute experience in their powerful twin V8 ‘Scream Machine’. Conveniently located in the trendy Wynyard Quarter, it’s an easy one to get to and a silly one to miss.

GO Rentals customers enjoy a 10% discount at Auckland Jet Boat Tours! 


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2. Rotorua

The tourist mega centre that’s known for its geothermal wonders and cultural experiences also has jet boats of its own to offer. Katoa Jet uses the crater lake that is Lake Rotorua as its base for its thrilling 30-minute experience. On top of that, you’ll also get taken past iconic local landmarks like Mokoia Island, Sulphur Bay and Kawaha Point where you’ll be told about the area’s history as well.


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3. Huka Falls

The Huka Falls are the most powerful waterfalls in New Zealand which release up to 200,000 litres per second. It’s an impressive sight to see in itself but what’s even more impressive is admiring the view from the vantage point of a jet boat. Hukafalls Jet is the only company with the permits to do this and visitors absolutely love the experience. A really unique offering and one that you should snap up if you have the opportunity.

GO Rentals customers enjoy a 10% discount at Hukafalls Jet


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4. Waikato River

The longest river in New Zealand is the perfect place for a jet boating adventure which is exactly what the good people at New Zealand River Jet do. Aboard their superfast jet boats, you’ll reach speeds of 90kmph thanks to long stretches of water down the river. Not only is it high-adrenaline but there are also plenty of scenic moments to take in along the way. The geothermal wonders of Orakei Korako, the rugged and steep Tutukau Gorge and the native NZ bush that surrounds it. Not a bad day out indeed!

GO Rentals customers enjoy a 10% discount at NZ River Jet


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5. Hanmer Springs

To the South Island and the hidden gem that you may not have heard of, Hanmer Springs. Famous in New Zealand for its soothing hot springs (reason enough alone for a visit), it also has a burgeoning adventure tourism scene that includes jet boating. The Waiau River is where you’ll head to with Hanmer Springs Attractions doing the rest. They’ll ensure you have an adventure jet boat ride that like no other, including 360-degree spins and more. You can combine this with a raft of activities too (though you might find the jet boating is more than enough).

GO Rentals customers enjoy a 10% discount at Hanmer Springs Attractions


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6. Christchurch

The Garden City is another one that might not necessarily invoke thoughts of high-speed jet boats but it’s something it delivers with Alpine Jet Thrills. They actually offer not one but two locations to try at the Waimakariri River Canyon and the Braided Shallows of the Waimakariri River itself. The first will take you into the rugged landscape before the serene Southern Alps while the second navigate the ever-changing terrain of the Braided Shallows. They’re both great and can’t be separated so your only choice may be to do both!

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7. Queenstown

Queenstown is a place that needs no introduction and is often regarded as the birthplace of adventure tourism. You’ll be able to do all sorts here including bungy jumping, canyon swings, 4WD safaris, quad biking and of course, jet boating. Shotover Jet, operating on the Shotover River is arguably the most well-known name in the game but there are a number of great operators here and on the Kawarau River like GO Orange and K Jet. Plenty to choose from so there’s no chance of missing out.

GO Rentals customers enjoy discounts at Shotover Jet, Go Orange and K Jet


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8. Wanaka

Is it the most beautiful place in the world? Many people believe it is and it’s a hard point to argue for anyone who’s been. What’s also hard to argue is the near-perfect backdrop that it makes to try jet boating. The glacier-fed rivers of Mt Aspiring National Park serve as the perfect platform for the likes of Go Jets Wanaka dedicated to creating the very best in excitement and adventure. Plenty of history to see along the way too including remnants from the gold mining era!

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9. Glenorchy

Last but not least we got to Glenorchy, a small South Island town 45 minutes drive from Queenstown. With a population under 500, they certainly offer a lot for their size including a great time in the jet boats on the Dart River. Dart River Adventures has the sole license for the area which isn’t the easiest to traverse (only 10cm deep in some parts) but this only adds to the fun. On top of this, you’ll get to see the incredible beauty of the Te Wāhipounamu World Heritage Area with mountains, glaciers and forests. A great one to sign off with.


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A unique experience when jet boating in NZ

We hope you’ve enjoyed our recommendations for jet boating in New Zealand, the world-famous adrenaline activity that you’ll never forget. Be sure to book yourself a seat early for your next trip to any of these fantastic destinations.

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