Myself and 13 other thrill seekers get outfitted in life vests and rain jackets and strap into a boat that is powered by two 3.8 liter, V6 engines with the ability to propel 760 liters of water per second.
What does that even mean? It means this boat is going to go super fast! 520-horses powered my jet pilot take us to the edge… the edge of the river where the steep rock walls and boulders protruded out so dangerously close that I thought I would smack my head into them if I dared to lean out of the boat.
The 180 degree turns in the narrow canyons got my adrenaline pumping by just being able to jet along so fast in one direction and then abruptly spin around so fast that I one can hardly have time to gain their equilibrium. Full speed turns propelled us forward, then the boat would go into a nosedive, then abruptly stop and set us back down to await the water overspray that occurred. These turns get the heart pumping pretty good, as you are just mere feet away from becoming one with the canyon wall.
Through all of this I still had time to take in the gorgeous scenery of this ancient, tree-lined canyon. Everyone in the boat was a stranger, but we had one thing in common— trust in our pilot to give us a thrilling ride. We seemed to giggle and laugh in unison from the speed and zigzagging through the canyons. None of us protested half way through when the pilot said he wanted to put us through more of the same further up the river. I think the mission of my pilot was to get everyone as wet as possible. Mission accomplished.
Looking for an endorphin high? In typical New Zealand style, this boat ride will give that to you in spades.