Discovery Blog

Mt Hutt opens for 2014!

Friday, June 13, 2014

The 2014 Mt Hutt winter season has officially started under sunny skies and with a good covering of snow. The cold weather front that hit the region this week has ensured a good start for the season with a good base.

With no wind, the top temperature will be around 4 degrees. Read more here.

Big Day At The Office 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013
Discovery Jet were on standby to help on the Kayaking leg of the 2013 the Property Brokers Big Day at the Office Race. The race is a five stage Multi-sport, Duathlon & Run event based around the Methven Foothills which was founded by Simon Hampton in 2004. The race has become a must for any Coast2Coaster.

Due to weather conditions however, the race was diverted to the RDR. We're looking forward to supporting Methven Lions on the river in 2014.

A race up the mighty Rakaia

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

If you've ever attended a Formula One grand prix, you will understand the thrill and intensity of the futuristic cars as they defy logic at unbelievable speeds. Jet boating is a little like that.

Except, you're on the water, someone else is driving and you get to enjoy the view.

Discovery Jet boat tours on the Rakaia Gorge, about 45 minutes' drive west of Christchurch, is a thrill-seekers wonderland.

The boats hurtle past sheer cliff faces, skim across shingle beds and round one jaw-dropping corner after another.

Recently purchased by Cantabrian lad Blair Grice, who worked for the company for three years before becoming its boss, Discovery Jet boasts similar thrills to Queenstown's famous Shotover Jet, but has the added attraction of the snowy Southern Alps framing the horizon and a range of "safari" options tailored to suit different tastes.

These include adrenalin-fuelled rides, a heli-jet combo, fishing remote stretches of the Rakaia or even alighting partway and walking back along the ridge of the river.

Grice is a personable chap, happy in his work and keen to point out the river's special features. These include towering coal and limestone cliffs carved out over millions of years. Grice also loves sending his boat into 360-degree spins, though he's kind enough to give a few seconds' notice each time and doesn't delight in soaking his passengers.

The trip starts a stone's throw from the Rakaia Gorge bridge, which carries State Highway 77 from Darfield to Methven, gateway to Mt Hutt.

The bridge was built in 1882 and is a striking platform from which to view the gorge swollen in flood.

On those occasions jet boating is not an option, with angry grey waters scaling the cliffs by several metres. Pick a sunny, clear day, however, and the river is paradise.

The grey and brown of the cliffs frequently give way to lush green pastures and bush, blue sky, snow-capped mountains and mesmerising blue waters apparently swarming with salmon and trout. It's hard to know where to look as the boat zips past the river's many nooks and crannies, but Grice knows the best vantage points and slows down or stops accordingly.

Tourism operators prioritise safety and Grice is no exception. Everyone wears a lifejacket and although the boat doesn't have seatbelts it never feels perilous, even during the spins.

The only downside to the experience is finishing.

As the boat pulls up to Grice's jetty it's tempting to ask him to take us out on the river again. In fact, why don't we?

Barney McDonald travelled as a guest of Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism.

By Barney McDonald


Drive your Jet Boat?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In 2014, we're working with the Methven Summer School to deliver a 1 day course which will cover subjects like river navigation to driving in different water. Discover Jet will share with you the skills needed to make the most of our amazing rivers.


The Big Dig Out!

Monday, June 24, 2013
Mt Hutt is closed once again today. The crew had a controlled avalanche yesterday that severely damaged the bottom return station of the Triple Chair.

The mountain received over 2.8 metres of new snow in last week's storm which was described as the largest in over two decades!

Mt Hutt had to fly staff in to start the massive job of clearing snow with patrollers carrying out avalanche control over the weekend from helicopters.


Mt Hutt Celebrates Opening Day

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Around 1300 keen skiers and snowboarders helped Canterburys Mt Hutt celebrate its scheduled opening (June 15). The keenest of all  the seventy or so waiting for the Summit 6 and Quad chairlifts to crank into action for the season, including four who had slept overnight at the ski area to gain coveted First On The Lift T-shirts  were rewarded when both lifts started up fifteen minutes early at 8.45am.


Canterbury Severe Snow Warning

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Heavy Snow for Canterbury and Southern Marlborough

A very strong and cold southery flow spreads over the South Island tonight, with snow expected to lower to near sea level about southern and eastern areas.Heavy snow is expected about Canterbury, and southern parts of Marlborough above 300 metres, commencing in the south tonight, then further north Thursday morning.This is a significant event which is expected to persist through until Friday morning, accumulations likely to exceed 50cm above 300 metres, and 100cm above 500 metres. Lesser amounts of snow are expected below 300 metres, with significant rainfall accumulations likely with 60 to 90mm expected over the period.

Discovery Jet - 5 Stat review

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wow! On a backpacking tour through New Zealand, I figured I'd give the famous Kiwi jetboating a spin - the weather was perfect the day I ended up in Methven, so I found myself at the Rakaia Gorge. The owner, Blair, had a full crew with him today, and was busy chatting to everyone when I showed up. After a bit of a tour along the gorge (pretty scenic, with steep canyon walls and the mountains in the distance), he asked us if we were ready to do a spin - pretty sweet rush, not too dizzying (younger kids should be fine) but good fun. We stopped a few times, to point out something in the geography and to allow for some pictures.

As I'd never been in a jetboat before, the feeling of skimming the water was really cool - if you get the chance and the weather's right, I'd recommend doing this over another boat tour, just because it's a fast, unique way to travel, and it's still a bit of a secret - at least for now!

Ryan, Canada

100% Pure New Zealand

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We're lucky enough to enjoy stunning scenery almost everyday! The Rakaia gorge and southern alps deliver some spectacular views. Check out some of our crews photography in our scenic gallery


Mt Hutt scheduled to open June 15th 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

With the Mt Hutt Ski season due to open in less than three weeks, you'll be able to keep an eye of the Snow Forecast here.