Half-day Skippers Canyon Historical Tour with Jet Boat Ride

activities / Boating & cruises

Half-day Skippers Canyon Historical Tour with Jet Boat Ride information and booking

4 hours
Departs from
The Station bus stop OR Queenstown hotels
Returns to
Returns to original departure point
Time of departure
Summer schedule: October - April8:00am, 1:00pmWinter Schedule: May - September9:00am, 1:00pm
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Tour description provided by Viator

Get the best of both New Zealand’s history and great outdoors on this unique tour from Queenstown that explores the history and natural beauty of Skippers Canyon. Experience a rush of adrenaline and the thrill of high-speed jet boating down the Shotover River; discover the gold rush history of Skippers Canyon over a cup of billy tea with a 5th-generation local; visit the family museum; and try your luck panning for gold.

Enter into Skippers Canyon along the “road to riches” as your driver relays the gold rush history of the region. The road has hardly changed since it was first hand-carved from the canyon’s sheer cliffs and rock walls by miners more than 140 years ago. As you weave your way through the Southern Alps to the Shotover River at Deep Creek, enjoy the magnificent scenery from specialized 4WD vehicles that offer great elevated views.

At Deep Creek, gear up with life vests and spray jackets and get set for the ride of your life as you ride a jet boat down the river. Hold on tight as you travel at top speed down the narrow river channel, skimming over shallow, 6-inch-deep (14.4-centimeter-deep) river beds, twisting and turning and performing trick maneuvers as you go.

Relax and enjoy the afterglow of your jet boat adrenaline rush with a cup of billy tea (tea made in rustic kettle over an open fire) with Winky, a 5th-generation local, as she relays the stories of her family’s history dating back to the 1860s. Find out what a real gold nugget feels like in your hand, visit the family museum and try your luck panning for gold.

This is a great day out, where you get to experience the history of Queenstown’s gold rush and an exhilarating jet boat ride down the river.

What's included

  • 30-minute jet boat ride down shotover river
  • Life vests
  • Spray jackets
  • Billy tea
  • Museum tour and gold panning
  • Driver/guide
  • Hotel pickup (selected hotels only)

What isn't included

  • Hotel pick ups in arrowtown
  • Hotel drop-off
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Food and drinks, unless specified