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Jet Boat in New Zealand – Why You Must Do The Squeeze Tour in Rotorua & Not Queenstown

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Guess we all know by now that jet boat experiences were first invented by the Kiwis in New Zealand. Advertisements blasted all over the 2 islands, all unique in their own ways. But what else makes a jet boat experience really worthwhile and stand out from the rest? 

We think – jumping out of the boat, squeezing through some tight rock passages and crevasses before taking a dip into some natural hot pools! That’s right, New Zealand Riverjet has a truly unique Kiwi experience known as The Squeeze that offers just that. This experience is also uniquely Rotorua and we promise you won’t find any experience like that anywhere else in New Zealand or the world. 


Warning: The Squeeze is not tailored for people who suffer from extreme claustrophobia. If you think you’re unsuitable, we recommend taking New Zealand Riverjet’s Thermal Safari Thrill Ride. The jetboat will drop you off at Orakei Korako, where you will feel like you’re in a prehistoric site. It’s still going to be an exhilarating ride regardless!

A Jet Boat Experience with a peek into the mystical lands’ past

You don’t want to just be taken for a spin without knowing much about the place. For the first part of the squeeze, your adventure begins at Tutukau Gorge. Take your time to marvel at completely untouched New Zealand landscapes with not a single man-made structure in sight. Sprinkled with ancient stories and a little history about the river, you will find yourself deeply connected with mother nature while admiring the high walls of the gorge, or hanging trees on the cliff due to gradual soil erosion.

Hot Tip: This is probably the only time where the jet boat ride is comparably smoother than the rest of your trip. That being said, take all the photos and videos you want with your phones and cameras now while there’s still a chance! The Guidesify Team also recommends getting a waterproof case (preferably with a lanyard) to protect your smartphones, or use a GoPro! 

No easy day on this jet boat experience – But with a funny tour guide

Oh yes, did we mention that the ride to the squeeze is probably the easiest part of the experience? Time to get down the boat and manoeuvre through tight passages with varying water levels. It is truly a rare experience walking on the riverbed!

You will be provided with crocs to walk with for safety reasons although we really enjoyed without it. Walking barefooted, in our opinion, kinda gives you a better natural healing and exfoliating experience as you walk on the soft mud, rocks and pebbles. 😉 

Not to mention, during the Guidesify Team’s experience, our guide Lemar sure has a sense of humour and easily kept the entire group entertained throughout The Squeeze.

P.S. All the guides at New Zealand Riverjet are super down-to-earth and very approachable. Hope that’s a sign of relief for you if you think you’re awkward with people as you are going to spend about 3 hours with your guide!

Squeeze with a warm waterfall and pool for maximum relaxation

After all that squeezing, manoeuvring and swimming through the small canyon and riverway, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing hot waterfall. And that’s not all! After enjoying and snapping some pictures under the waterfall, you’ll get to chill in a warm pool with your new-found friends! Here’s the perfect opportunity to have a chat with your guide and river jet mates. All thanks to the warm mineral water, you’ll feel completely at ease and at peace with nature.  

Experience the Iconic Hamiltons spin


Named after Sir Bill Hamilton, the Hamilton Spin, Hamilton Turn or “jet spin” is a high-speed manoeuvre where the jet boat driver cuts off the boat’s engine throttle, turning the steering sharply before opening the throttle again. This sequence causes the boat to spin quickly around with a large spray of water, before quickly heading on its way again.

After making your way back from the hot pools to the jet boat, the ride back to base will be a lot more exciting with tons of stunts pulled off by your guide. Of which, you will be able to experience the Hamilton Spin numerous times. 

Just a little taste of Kiwi fun!

Where Do I Sit in the Jet Boat?


As much as we all want to have fun, it’s not that pleasant if you start to get sick from all that G-force. 

Sit at the front: If you want to experience more centrifugal force or a ‘shifty’ ride.

In the middle: For people who want to be on a safe side. Least chance of getting motion sickness and WET.

At the back: Not afraid of getting wet and experience lots of centrifugal force. Also very good for taking photos and videos.

Although your guide will distribute the weight evenly across the boat, feel free to let him or her know beforehand what your preferences are. That way, your guide can organise the seating arrangement accordingly and everyone can be happy and ready! 

Afraid of Getting Your Phone Wet While Taking Photos? No worries!


We’re sure you do not want to forget these fond memories from this experience and will want some footages to bring home. If you do not own a GoPro or any form of waterproof action camera, fret not, the New Zealand River Jet team has got you covered! You will no longer have to worry about getting your phone wet or lost during the trip as your guide will be bringing a GoPro along to snap pictures of you. 

To add on, there are several cameras situated at different vantage points along the river and your guide will take perfectly-timed photos during the spins to ensure that you get the best action shots. Even if you’ve got your own action camera, you absolutely will want some photos of your jet boat in action too! 😉

These photos can be purchased as an add-on on top of your experience and are definitely worth every penny.

Our experience with The Squeeze was honestly so much fun and so unique! If you’re up for a whole new level of adventure and fun, be sure to join The Squeeze in Rotorua! 

New Zealand Jet Boat The Squeeze Pinterest


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