Shotover River: Our most recommended tours and activities

Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

Queenstown: Shotover River and Kawarau River Jet Boat Ride

Get an adrenaline rush on a 1-hour jet boat ride, operated by the world’s first commercial jet boat company. Take in stunning views of the Remarkable Mountains and journey up 2 of the South Island’s most iconic rivers.  Depart from the heart of Queenstown, and climb aboard the big yellow jet boat at the Main Town Pier. Hold on tight as you accelerate across the water and feel the exhilaration of a high-powered twin-engine boat that powers across Lake Wakatipu. Experience the twists and spins as you enter the Kawarau River and race past rocks and under bridges at speeds of up to 95 kilometers per hour.  Grip the heated handrails and experience 360° spins while you speed up the shallow channels of the Shotover River. After 45 kilometers of pure adrenaline, return to the pier and see photos and videos from your trip.

Shotover River: Extreme Jet Boat Experience

Shotover River: Extreme Jet Boat Experience

Take on the ultimate jet boat experience on the Shotover River for a breathtaking ride through dramatic and narrow canyons, located less than a 10-minutes drive from Queenstown. A short drive from Queenstown will have you at the shores of the Shotover River. Meet your experienced guide and gear up for your high-speed jet boat ride. Hold on tight as the driver expertly navigates the jet boat over white-water rapids and squeezes through the narrow walls of the Shotover Canyon. Speed past rocky outcrops, skim around boulders, and zip through the dramatic and narrow canyons as its walls tower above you. After 25 thrilling minutes, return to the jet base and relax on the shuttle transfer back to Queenstown.

From Queenstown: Skippers Canyon Jet Boat Ride

From Queenstown: Skippers Canyon Jet Boat Ride

Experience unbeatable value as you are taken on a spectacular guided tour of Skippers Canyon followed by a thrilling jet boat ride through the narrowest canyons on the Shotover River. Begin with a guided drive into historic Skippers Canyon with on board commentary from knowledgeable drivers. You will be escorted into a land rich in gold mining history and stunning scenery via the infamous Skippers Road which was carved out of the vertical rock face by miners over 130 years ago. Once on the boat you will feel your adrenaline surge as you power deeper into Skippers Canyon through the most dramatic canyons on the Shotover River. The highly skilled jet boat drivers maneuver the boat just inches from the sheer canyon walls and keep the excitement levels high with speeds in excess of 80kmh and a series of full 360-degree spins. After the boat ride, head to the historic Pipeline Bungy area for a rest break and incredible views out over the canyon before making the 45min journey back to Queenstown.

Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Adventure

Start the tour with a fun drive to the rafting take-off point via Skippers Canyon. The drive is an experience in itself; the narrow dirt road hugs the canyon's sheer cliffs and offers spectacular views over the river you'll soon be soaring down. At the rafting base, get fitted in all your gear and listen to a full safety briefing. The rapids can change on a daily basis but rest assured our guides are expertly trained and have a keen sense of adventure. They will guide you through canyons and help you navigate rapids. Begin your whitewater rafting adventure from Deep Creek. Cruise over peaceful waters before heading towards the exhilarating rapids of the lower canyon. Feel the adrenaline pumping as you paddle through the rapids and into the darkness of the historic, 550-foot Oxenbridge Tunnel before shooting over Cascade Rapid to complete your adventure. Enjoy a hot shower at Rafting Base before returning to Queenstown. 

Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Trip

Queenstown: Shotover River Whitewater Rafting Trip

Enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting on this river trip. Raft past the rugged beauty of the Shotover River, drive into Skippers Canyon, and cool off in the water. Meet in Queenstown and hop on a bus to head to Skippers Canyon and the Shotover River. At the river, get into your wetsuit and learn about your rafting equipment from your guide. After a safety briefing, get into the water to begin your adventure. Raft down the Shotover, shooting through 6 grade 4-5 rapids. Navigate the Aftershock, Squeeze, Toilet, and Pinball rapids, before entering the darkness of the 170-meter-long Oxenbridge Tunnel. Between rapids, enjoy the calm water and the canyon's natural beauty. Cool off with a swim in the river or relax in the sun. Finish your rafting adventure with the challenging Cascade Rapid before arriving back at the base in Queenstown.

Queenstown: See the Best Sights of Queenstown Half-Day Tour

Queenstown: See the Best Sights of Queenstown Half-Day Tour

Starting from Central Queenstown, you will be collected by your Altitude Tours guide in a premium Mercedes vehicle and set off on a fantastic morning exploring the local sights. Throughout the tour, your guide will provide informative and entertaining commentary along with great Kiwi humor. Our first stop is an observation point right above Queenstown where you will get the best panoramic views of the city. Then drive through the gorgeous countryside below Coronet Peak to Arrowtown, a quaint, little gold mining village nestled below the mountains alongside a river full of gold. On your way pass over the renowned Shotover River catching a glimpse of the legendary Shotover Jetboat. Once in Arrowtown, you will have time to explore Arrowtown, not to mention sampling the outstanding local bakery pies. Continuing on to Gibbston, you will visit the iconic AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy, providing entertaining spectating for all. The Gibbston Valley region is also home to many Lord of The Rings film locations and cool-climate wines. Head to the next stop, a local cellar door where you can sample delicious, award-winning wines and enjoy shared cheeseboards (non-alcoholic options are available). You will then head back to Queenstown where you will finish off your day with a relaxing 30-minute scenic boat cruise on Lake Wakatipu.

Wanaka: Milford Sound Flight & Scenic Boat Cruise

Wanaka: Milford Sound Flight & Scenic Boat Cruise

Your scenic flight to Milford Sound departs from Wanaka Airport and takes you through the UNESCO World Heritage area of Te Wahipounamu. This includes two of New Zealand’s most picturesque National Parks – the Mt Aspiring & Fiordland National Parks. The landscapes are unspoilt, remote and best viewed from the air! Mt Aspiring National Park Stunning views of Mt Aspiring National Park View remote alpine lakes nestled amongst soaring snowcapped mountain peaks and pristine glaciers, with vast rainforest and cascading waterfalls visible from every window seat! You will also see the huge ice basin known as the Olivine Ice Plateau. Mt Aspiring National Park Mt Aspiring and Glaciers – only viewed when flying from/to Wanaka! Once landed safely into Milford Sound landing strip you will jump on your Milford cruise. We choose a smaller, more intimate vessel for our Milford Fly-Cruise-Fly tour as it makes experiencing the sheer mile high cliffs and waterfalls even more special. Complimentary tea and coffee is also provided. You will cruise the 16km length of the Sound and out to the Tasman Sea (weather dependent). This allows you to appreciate the scale and grandeur of Milford Sound and its waterfalls. It also gives you lots of opportunity to spot our native wildlife. Seals & penguins often make an appearance and some lucky guests may also spot dolphins in the sheltered waters. milford sound from the air on a scenic flight with southern alps air A birds eye view of Milford Sound – called the “8th Wonder of the World” Once your cruise arrives back at the wharf your pilot will be ready to escort you back to your plane for your return scenic flight to Wanaka. Return via the spectacular Dart Valley and over the famous township of Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu. This location was used extensively in the Lord of the Rings movies with the mountains of the Dart / Rees Valleys forming the backdrop to Isengard. Then fly over the striking blue water of Queenstown’s Shotover River. Gold was discovered here in 1862 and the river became one of the richest gold bearing rivers in the world. Finally, you will return to Wanaka and land back at the airport with photos and memories that are yours to treasure.

Top Attractions in Queenstown

Things to Do in Shotover River

Cities in New Zealand

Other Sightseeing Options in Shotover River

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What people are saying about Shotover River

Overall rating

4.8
(513 reviews)

Queenstown and its surrounding leaves us lost for words! This place is stunning and breathtaking! Thank you Shelley, Kevin and Graham from Altitude Tour! You did an awesome job looking after us! Definitely recommended!

This was a first for me. I was dreading this activity and in the end everything went very well. The reception staff and pilot were professional and friendly.

William our tour guide was excellent! The trip in to the Jet boat was an adrenaline rush in its self!

Joe our driver was excellent and the adventure was well worth doing

All staff were amazing, and the boat ride was fantastic.