We were told by our hotel concierge (and read in other reviews) that Skippers Canyon Jet is better than Shotover Jet because for the same price, you also get a scenic drive and commentary down Skippers Canyon. Totally true. Peter drove us into Skippers Canyon and gave great commentary about New Zealand and the canyon in general. I agree with other reviewers - the ride in was almost as thrilling as the jetboat ride itself! Kevin, our jetboat driver, was friendly, and the ride itself was awesome. It started out somewhat tame (somewhat better than those water rides at amusement parks), but that was because he was going upriver. After a little bit, he then did several 360 spins and picked up speed, maneuvering really closely to the edges of the river, which was pretty mind-boggling. And then he turned around and went downriver... which was basically everything we had experienced but 3x as fast! Super fun.
We decided to do both the Scenic Tour & Jet option, which meant that after the jetboat, we visited a "museum" and spoke to a Skippers local, then did some gold panning. For me and for most people, these additional options are not worth the extra cost - just do the Jetboat Tour. For my husband, who has this weird fascination with gold panning (he watches those gold mining shows on the Discovery/Travel channels), it was pretty awesome. So unless you have someone in your family who is curious about gold panning, save yourself the extra cost and sign up for the Jetboat Tour.
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