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Shotover River Tours

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Shotover River
The Shotover River, which drains into the Kawarau River beneath the famous Kawarau Bridge, is renowned as an aquatic playground for visitors traveling to Queenstown. Even the drive toward the Shotover River is an outdoor adventure in itself, as the road leading into Skippers Canyon is a winding, mountainous route.
 
The Basics
Adventurers can bounce down frothing, white water while paddling a raft on a guided trip, or hold on while they make 360-degree spins on a high-speed jet boat ride up the Shotover. Rafting trips pass through the 560-foot (170-meter) Oxenbridge Tunnel and tumble over Class III, IV, and V rapids, ending in the tranquil waters under a historic trestle sometimes used for bungee jumping. Heli-rafting adventures are also available.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • The waterway is considered more advanced than the Kawarau River, and all rafters must be able to swim.
  • Wet suits, helmets, life jackets, and spray jackets are provided by outfitters.
  • Bring swimwear, a towel, and a change of clothing.
  • Sauna and hot shower facilities are available from some tour operators.
  • Children must be accompanied by an adult; minimum ages may apply.
 
How to Get There
The Shotover River is located north of Queenstown, and most rafting companies drive for 40 minutes via Skippers Road before putting in on the river. Jet boaters may skim across Lake Wakatipu before fishtailing around the milk-blue waters of the river. Tour operators typically offer shuttle or bus transport, with pickup from area hotels.
 
When to Get There
Most rafting, jet boat, and helicopter excursions operate year-round, although some white-water trips are offered seasonally during warmer months, from October through May. Arrive early for a safety briefing and to ensure plenty of time to gear up.
 
River History
In the late 1800s, the Shotover River was a storied outpost of gold prospectors. Dust-covered panhandlers would camp in canyons in the foothills of the Southern Alps and scour the raging, turquoise waters, sluicing and straining with the hope of striking it rich. They could not have imagined that today the wilderness outside Queenstown would draw adrenaline- and adventure-seekers with these popular pursuits on the river.
Address: New Zealand
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Jet Boats & Speed Boats

Queenstown Jet Boat Ride on the Shotover & Kawarau Rivers

Experience heart-racing fun on an exhilarating Queenstown jet-boat ride. The expert captain races across Lake Wakatipu, navigates tricky turns on the Kawarau River and speeds through the milky waters of the Shotover River. Grab hold of your seat as the jet boat makes 360-degree spins and fishtails on a rollercoaster ride over the water. You’ll cover more ground in less time, and receive a complimentary entrance ticket to Queenstown's Underwater Observatory.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$75.25
From  
US$75.25
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Jet Boats & Speed Boats

Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride from Queenstown

Take a jet boat ride on the Shotover River during an extreme 25-minute ride, and make use of transport from Queenstown. Experience adrenaline-fueled fun as the jet boat skims the water’s surface at high speed and fishtails into 360-degree spins. Hold on tight as the captain maneuvers the jet boat over rapids and through narrow canyons during one heart-pounding adventure you won’t soon forget.
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  • 25 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$93.20
From  
US$93.20
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  • 25 minutes
  • Free Cancellation


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