Shotover Jet with Kids, Queenstown – Family Travel Blog

Recently I’ve been adding some posts from our earlier trips to New Zealand. So far I have covered off on our road trip to Wanaka from Christchurch, our road trip from Wanaka to Queenstown and Milford Sound with kids. We decided that we wanted to do something considered a little extreme while in the extreme capital of the world, the Shotover Jet was a far as I would go!

I mentioned in our Wanaka to Queenstown post that we had the opportunity to go on the Shotover Jetboat while in town. I found Queenstown to be ridiculously expensive and with 3 kids with us we were really restricted by what extreme sports we could do! Budgeting in New Zealand is particularly important if you are wanting to do the adventurous activities in Queenstown. We found it to be ridiculously expensive for all activities.

One of our Kiwi friends had a cousin in Queenstown working in tourism so we managed to get adults at kids prices for the Shotover Jetboat rides. This meant that instead of paying $140 per adult, we only paid $70 per person. It was a total of $210 for Craig, Alannah and I. He even came and babysat the remaining  4 kids (2 x 5 yo and 2 x 3 yo) while we were on the boat! What a champion!

Craig and I took Alannah, she was 7 at the time, and my friend and her husband went on too. Alannah was really nervous but she thought she was ever so grown up going on a ride with all the adults. I think she thought she was 10 foot tall and bullet proof!

Shotover Jet
Ready to go in our tents and safety vests.

The Shotover Jet experience

You have to put on a black poncho that makes you look as fat as a house! There was nothing flattering about these jackets at all. We piled onto the boat and put Alannah in the middle between Craig and I just to be sure as she is really very small for her age.

Shotover Jet
Alannah all ready to go

The boat took off down the Shotover River and her little knuckles were white with how tight she was gripping onto the rail in front of her. The grin on her face was from ear to ear. She’s not normally the bravest kid so it was wonderful to see her putting herself out there and having a go.

Shotover Jet
Action shot on the Shotver Jet.

The driver of the boat was aware she was a bit nervous and he really put on a bit of a show for her, well I thought it was for her! They’re amazingly talented drivers and there were a few moments where I even thought we were a bit close to the rock walls, they come pretty close but I suppose that’s all part of the fun. I looked over at Alannah a couple of times and she had her eyes closed!

I enjoyed the amazing scenery most of all, New Zealand is by far the most beautiful place I have visited so far. It really is breathtaking. The Jetboats run through some narrow canyons with steep rock walls and you are surrounded by snow capped mountains.

Shotover Jet
The bridge over the Shotover River.

It was lovely to watch her squeal like a maniac and thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. Having 3 kids it’s sometimes difficult to provide age appropriate activities and Alannah sometimes misses out because the little ones can’t do it. It was great to get the discount as there was no way we would have been able to give her this experience if we had to pay full price and pay for all 5 of us.

Shotover Jet
The Shotover River where the jetboats take off.

What did we think of the Shotover Jet?

I thought the jetboats were pretty tame, it must be as I’m not much of a thrill seeker, but it was enough for Alannah to get excited about and she talked about it for weeks. I don’t think she is going to take after me, she might be a crazy thrill seeker like her dad. I was chuffed to have shared it with her too. Hopefully one day we will take the little 2 back and give them an experience worth remembering as well.

Safe travels.






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