For most of my regular readers the remote possibility of visiting Aotearoa New Zealand has become even more remote since the arrival of the current pandemic, and for the foreseeable future is likely to remain so.
I’m now at the age where an adrenaline rush does little more than remind me that my body isn’t what it once was. I prefer to reminisce and relive past experiences from memory rather than seek out new ones.
With that in mind, here’s a modern video clip of the same experience I had on the same river forty-nine years ago. As far as I can recall, the boat appears to be identical to the one I rode in way back in April 1971.
Rushing through a narrow river valley with literally just a few inches of water beneath you while travelling at a speed of 80 kph (50 mph) relative to the water (somewhat faster relative to the valley walls on the downstream run) definitely does create an adrenaline rush, but unlike a bungy jump, it’s not over in a few seconds. The g-forces you’re subject to apparently are similar to those experienced on a rollercoaster but as I have never ridden a roller coaster, I am not able to confirm. Certainly, decelerating from full speed to a standstill in just a boat length while doing a 360 degree turn (otherwise known as a Hamilton turn) is an unforgettable sensation.
So without further ado, here’s a recreation of my jet boat experience five decades on. I recommend you take the link to Youtube and watch it at full screen.
Here’s another jet boat tour. Observe the terrain you pass through on your way to the river.
If g-forces are your thing, then hitch a ride in jet sprint boat. These boats can accelerate from 0 to 130 Kph (80 mph) in less than 2 seconds. The top boats can pull 7 g-forces while maneuvering through the course. I’ve been told that there are more jet sprint tracks in this country than race car tracks. The jet sprint park below is about a forty minute drive from where I live.
On the other hand, if a little bit of white water is your thing, there’s rides such as this one at Taupō.
or this (but I’d recommend wearing a safety helmet here).