Queenstown jetboat driver won’t hold back with Royals


A top Queenstown adventure tourism attraction isn’t planning on holding back when the visiting Royal couple strap in this Sunday.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka Wills and Kate, are coming to Queenstown for an official day off on their Royal tour but have booked in for a blast with Shotover Jet, dubbed the world’s most exciting jetboat ride. 

Ngai Tahu Tourism southern region manager David Kennedy tells Mountain Scene it’ll be business as usual for the driver who has the famous cargo. 

“They just requested a normal ride, which is 25 minutes down through the two canyons, 360 degree spins.” 

The signature red jetboats, powered by V8 engines, are capable of going 85kph in as little as 10 centimetres of water while careening down the narrow Shotover River Canyon. 

Kennedy says several boats will be in action for the Royal booking, with Kensington Palace staff, security and Ngai Tahu representatives all expected to take part. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled and delighted to take the Royal couple for a spin on a trip we’re sure they’ll remember as part of their New Zealand tour.” 

Shotover Jet has thrilled over three million people since 1970 when tourism operators started using jet boats powered by a revolutionary waterjet system invented by legendary New Zealander Sir William (Bill) Hamilton. 

Kennedy adds: “The Royal couple are known for their love of the outdoors and sports, so we think they’ll really enjoy the chance to experience a world-leading Queenstown adventure tourism operation. 

“In the Duke’s case, as a helicopter pilot we believe he’ll certainly appreciate the advanced technology coupled with Kiwi ingenuity that makes our jet boats special.” 

The Duke and Duchess will fortify themselves for the thrill ride with a wine-tasting session at Amisfield Winery and Bistro, where all varieties of Central Otago wine from the different sub-regions will be showcased. 

More than 150 media in tow for the visit will also get to sample the local flavours after the Royals to spread the word to the world.