Thrills and Spills in Queenstown – Jet boating with KJet

Queenstown is a stunning town in New Zealand’s South Island, located on beautiful Lake Wakatipu. But there’s nothing sleepy about this scenic lakeside town. It is known for its seemingly endless adventure activities, so if you’re looking for thrills and spills in Queenstown, blast-off on a jet boat with KJet!

I always wanted to experience Jet boating and had heard lots of great things about KJet, formerly Kawarau Jet. KJet has been providing Jet boating experiences in Queenstown for over 60 years, so I figured they knew their stuff.

Queenstown is a natural playground and one of South Islands top destinations: it’s set on Frankton Arm, an inlet on the north eastern bend of Lake Wakatipu where the fast flowing glacial Kawarau River flows into the Lake.

The 43m high bridge over the Kawarau Gorge was the site of the first ever bungee jump, a sign of the heritage of Queenstown as New Zealand’s adventure capital.

I booked the 1 hour KJet tour, hopped on the jet boat at the Main Town Pier and the rest was history. This was one of the most amazing experiences ever!

Here are 5 reasons why my KJet experience was one to remember:

1. Pure adrenaline

It’s an exhilarating 1 hour high speed ride covering Lake Wakatipu and the Kawarau and Shotover rivers.  There were loads of 360 degree spins! 60 minutes and 45 km of pure adrenaline and stunning scenery. The rivers thunder down the glacial valleys as the jet boats power over them, sometimes at a depth of just 5cms!

2. Skilled & Passionate team

We stopped to catch our breath and checked out some points of interest. Luke, our driver told us more about the history of the rivers, the amazing scenery and the local area.

KJet is a Kiwi, family owned business boasting the fastest jet boats around, and Luke, who was super skilled and passionate about his job ensured we had a memorable time.

The twin engined boats accelerate really fast, and can be thrown into 360 degree spins, throwing up a wall of white spray.

KJet Queenstown
In a spin! Powering up river in a KJet jet boat

3. Views of both rivers

We blasted across the world-famous Shotover and Kawarau rivers – both were beautiful!

The Shotover River is a 75km long fast-flowing river that flows through the mountains from the Southern Alps, through Skippers canyon before joining the Kawarua River.

The Kawarau River is around 60km in length, flowing east through the dramatic Kawarua Gorge. It features lots of rapids and flows through the breathtaking Otago scenery.

The river flows from its source in the Kawarua mountains, and its name means “channel between rocks” in Maori.

4. Super convenient

It was conveniently located – I just wandered on down to the Main Town Pier in central Queenstown and booked my adventure. Boats leave every hour so it couldn’t have been easier. Some other jet boating tours require you to go slightly out of town to hop on the boat, so this one fit better into my day.

The boats are fitted with the world’s first jet boat roll bar, have twin engines and even heated hand rails! It’s certainly a white-knuckle ride, but at least your hands are warm!

There are no height restrictions on the boats and KJet’s drivers are trained to the highest industry standards – as they demonstrate when reaching speeds of up to 95kph!

The KJet jet boat navigating the shallow rivers
The Jet Boat flies over the shallow waters of the river

5. More bang for your buck

I could combine it with Bungy Jumping and the Queenstown Gondola and Luge to get a cheaper price on all my activities!

KJet also offers a range of Combo deals, so you can combine your jet boat trip with anything from bungy jumping to wine tours to get more bang for your buck.

Are you ready to experience more thrills and spills in Queenstown? Then take on the epic 45km trip over the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers.  Check out KJet and experience the unforgettable!


Stray female crew member avatar


She likes to explore New Zealand and to blog about it. No preference in North or South Island as both are equally beautiful, yet in a very different way. Follow Bhavisha's journey on our travel blog to get inspiration for your upcoming NZ trip.

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