Jetboating Trips, Wanaka

New Zealander Sir Charles William Feilden Hamilton, more commonly known as Bill Hamilton, is credited with developing the jetboat from a desire to navigate rivers too shallow for propeller boats. He also founded the world’s leading water jet manufacturing company, Hamilton Jet. However, he once said, “I do not claim to have invented marine jet propulsion. The honour belongs to a gentleman named Archimedes who lived some years ago.”

Thanks to him, fast-flowing but shallow rivers now make for exhilarating sport, with plenty of throttle action and high-speed manoeuvring such as the sliding Hamilton turn, always met with squeals of delight.

The Matukituki is one such river where trips on its braided channels with Wanaka River Journeys reach up to 80 kilometres per hour, complete with all the aforementioned thrills. A wonderful half-day trip is the “Flight of the Kea”  – which includes a 40min wilderness walk, a gorgeous Helicopter scenic flight and a gourmet picnic at the Whare Kea Chalet!

You bring jackets and sturdy footwear, the operator provides lifejackets and a fun day out.