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Shotover Jet’s original “Big Red” finds exciting new home at Highlands Motorsport Museum

April 19, 2016 Attraction No Comments Email Email

Shotover Jet’s first aluminum boat used for commercial operation on the Shotover River has retired from the spectacular canyons to its newworld-class home at Highlands Motorsport Museum.

Highlands Motorsport Park General Manager Josie Spillane in Jet One at the Highlands Motorsport Museum

Highlands Motorsport Park General Manager Josie Spillane in Jet One at the Highlands Motorsport Museum

Jet One, an alloy jetboat that carried ten passengers in comfort, replaced the original fibreglass Jet 30 boats that gave Shotover Jet the famous title of ‘World’s most exciting jet boat ride’.

After lying idle for many years, Jet One was fully restored in time for Shotover Jet’s recent 50th celebrations and was on display at the river base in Arthurs Point.

After taking a quick spin or two on the river during the celebrations, it’s now found a new and permanent home at the legendary Highlands Motorsport Museum near Cromwell. It can no longer be used commercially on the river due to safety features required in today’s boats.

Its new location means it is safely housed indoors where visitors can see the boat up close in all its glory, and read a detailed information panel about its history.

Ngāi Tahu Tourism Regional General Manager David Kennedy said it was a privilege to have such a close working relationship with Highlands Motorsport.

“The two experiences both thrive on the need for speed, combining the throaty roar of some of the world’s top motor racing marques with our mighty jet boats shooting through the canyons of the Shotover River,” he said.

“We love working with tourism partners such as Highlands so visitors to the region enjoy the very best experiences operating in the adventure capital of the world.”

To accelerate the adventure, a special combo is on offer, offering motorheads the best of big motor thrills on and off the water.

The Double Rush combo includes a Shotover Jet boat ride, a Highlands Motorsport Park go-kart session, a high speed taxi ride in a Porsche Cayenne Turbo on the international 4.5km track and entry to the Highlands National Motorsport Museum.

Highlands Motorsport Museum General Manager Josie Spillane said they were “proud” to have been working with Shotover Jet since the park opened in 2013.

“We love their product, their reputation and most importantly, their people,” she said.

“To have a piece of their jet boat history and legacy in our museum is a privilege, and we’re delighted to have the old girl on show!

“I hope we’re as iconic as they are when we reach 50 years, and that they’ll potentially have our Highlands Vulcan at their Shotover base,” she laughed.

In November 2015 Shotover Jet was the first jet boat operator in the world to reach a milestone 50 years’ of continuous operation. It started operations on the upper Shotover River in 1965 and was one of the experiences that helped put New Zealand on the global tourism map.

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