One of the things that New Zealand is famous for is it’s adrenaline sports: bungee jumping, skiing, skydiving, white water rafting and jet boating. I would never bungee jump, I think we may have missed the ski season somehow, I’ve been skydiving, and white water rafter just didn’t really appeal. That left jet boating.
You can go jet boating at a tonne of locations across the South Island, but the most renowned is the Shotover Jet just outside of Queenstown.
The boats reach up to speeds of 90 kilometres per hour, but they can operate in as little as 4 inches of water. The work the same way a jet ski does- by pumping water to keep it above the water- except the Shotover Jet boats are pumping 800 litres of water per second.
This experience is nothing short of a thrill ride. The icy cold wind is sharp on your face, and you heart is lodged in your throat as the boat zips less than a metre away from the rock faces that border the river. Like everything in New Zealand, the scenery is incredible, and I think this particular jet boating experience is even more special because of the Edith Cavill Bridge that straddles the river.
I’m the afternoon, we ventured out to Arrowtown. It’s a historic mining village, looks straight out of a picture book, and is probably my favourite place we’d been so far. The town is charming rather than commercialised, and we spent our time eating stone fruit from street vendors, having lunch at the Postmasters Cafe, poking into the little shops and walking around the surrounding hills.
Take the time to go off the beaten track to Arrowtown, and spend your money going jet boating. Both are not to be missed.