Jan 09

Day 17: Skipper’s Canyon and Shotover River Jetboats

by in New Zealand Travel, Sightseeing NZ

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On Sunday, we decided to take a combined Skipper’s Canyon tour and jetboat ride. Before doing that we took a gondola ride to the Skyline observation deck and spent an hour admiring the views, watching paragliders and luge riders.

Queenstown from a gondola

Queenstown from a gondola

We then went to the Kiwi Birdlife Park where we saw kiwis, tuataras, keas and a dozen other native NZ birds and reptiles.

 

A tuatara

A tuatara

A kea

A kea

We were picked up at our hotel and there was just one other person, so it was as good as a personalised tour. The unsealed Skipper’s Canyon road is mostly a single lane in width and a long drop to the Shotover River below, so you shouldn’t attempt it in your own car. Rental cars are not allowed on it.

Skipper's Canyon tour vehicle.

Skipper's Canyon tour vehicle.

The ride was as comfortable as a 4WD on a gravel track can be. We passed a couple of private cars, whose drivers looked very apprehensive. Our driver gave a near-continuous commentary about the history of the area and was happy to answer questions.

The trip included a thrilling jetboat ride in the Shotover River with lots of 360° turns that gave us sore shoulders the next morning. You have to hang on with your hands on a rail in front of you, so you need both arms to be functional.

Jetboat

A jetboat (not the company we used)

 

This is just the start of the arm-wrenching ride!

This is just the start of the arm-wrenching jetboat ride!

We were taken to the suspension bridge that was used for the first bungy jump operation for some years but closed because it led to too much road traffic in the canyon.

Shotover River

Shotover River

We asked to be dropped off near the Queenstown mall, where we had dinner and an early night.

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