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“Would you like thrills with your flora and fauna?”

Waiatoto River Safari
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$139.34*
and up
Waiatoto River Safari
More Info
$1,050.34*
and up
Private Tour: Waiatoto Jet Boat River Safari from Haast
Ranked #1 of 11 things to do in Haast
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Waiatoto River Safari. Only NZ jet boat tour from the ocean to the mountains 2.25 hours of extraordinary nature and exceptional beauty only seen on this trip. Experience the history of Gondwana land, smell the rainforest as you walk softly through the dripping ferns with the sparkling clear light shimmering, with the snowy peaks as your backdrop. Your experienced guide will lead you through the ancient river, still untouched as it was thousands years ago when the Maori first roamed the land, the great Moa bird and Haast eagle still ruled the ancient forests. You will experience the magical, breathtaking beauty of the Te Wahipounamu, the maori name for the South West New Zealand World Heritage area and take home memories that will have you yearning to return once more.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed January 27, 2012

Captain John is madly and equally passionate about nature and noisy engines - what a winning combination. He wraps up bird watching, local history and thrill seeking into the one incredible package, while demonstrating consummate jet boat skills. Good quality waterproof gear is provided, with super warm jackets also available, plus the odd towel to soak up any water which may have joined you in the boat. Highlights were being able to get out of the boat upriver and explore the riverbank for a while, and the maximum group size of 8. After several hours of fun on the water you will have worked up an appetite - continue the 20 minute drive south to the end of the road where you fill find the tiny hamlet of Jackson Head and the best fish and chips in the world ( The Cray Pot )

Thank jill c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HannahsHomestead, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2012

I am really pleased you got to "The Craypot" I always try and encourage my Nature and Thrill lovers to go for a feed(meal) from the World's greatest fish and chip spot. Besides the drive to get there is spectacular not to mention the awesome rainforest and ocean walks

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143 - 147 of 152 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2012

This safari combined the excitment of a jet bot ride with an experience of the beautiful temperate rainforest of the Waiatoto river. The guide/driver was very knowledgeable of the local flora and fauna, he explained the history of the area and how the plants (and animals) had evolved in this remote part of the world. We even got to see an extremely rare blue duck along with other wildlife you don't get to see and appreciate on normal jet boat rides. We enjoyed this a lot, even our 18 year old son didn't mind the 'nature' bits and loved the 'jet' part; we would recommend it to everyone. Well worth the travel down the west coast.

Thank Geoff E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HannahsHomestead, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2012

It really was great to see the photo's thanks for posting them, what a treat to see the Whio (Blue Duck) we are pleased that you enjoyed the trip and our part of the South Island. Hope to see you and heaps of your family and friends soon.

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Reviewed January 4, 2012

We arrived at the hut where the tour started and were introduced to the people on the previous tour and generally overwhelmed by their glowing praise and John's freindliness and passion for his job.

John provided an amazing insight into the history, geology, geography and biology of the area and was truly the best guide I have ever had for a tour.

We stopped a few times to see beautiful and rare plants and features along the river.

Oh yes and there was also some exciting jetboating through rocky gorges and spinning around.

2  Thank sydney_geek_girl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HannahsHomestead, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded January 12, 2012

Thank-you for the wonderful review, I am really pleased that you enjoyed our trip, I hope to see you back on the Waiatoto some time soon. John (@TheEcoMan)

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Reviewed January 13, 2008

Mention Roger Crow to anyone in Haast, and the response will be "oh yeah, I know Roger - good bloke". This is the guy who got his jetboat out and ran a three-hour trip for just the two of us!

Unlike the big commercial jetboats that you find in most parts of New Zealand, this trip probably wouldn't take more than about 8 people at a time, so it feels a lot more personal. You start on a side channel close to the sea, then travel upstream with lots of stops for Roger to talk about the local wildlife, geology and history, until you reach the Shark's Tooth - a set of serious rapids that make this the turnaround point. After about an hour and a half in the boat, it's time to get out and stretch your legs for a bit.

The way back down is completed in about half the time, with all the speed, spins and close encounters with obstacles that you'd expect from a jetboating trip. You continue on to the sea, then along another channel through the rainforest, dodging stumps and fallen trees, before returning to the start point.

If this isn't the best jetboating in New Zealand, I'd be very surprised, and I can't imagine how anyone could beat it.

4  Thank Padders_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HannahsHomestead, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2011

I know this is a late response to an awesome comment left by Padders_UK, I would like to thank-you belatedly on behalf of Rodger. I am The Eco Man, Capt. John I have taken over Waiatoto River Safari's and Hannah’s Homestead, I have done the trip with Rodger about 4 years ago and have striven to bring the same excellence if not better to the journey, which truly is exceptional, I concentrate on the Nature aspect and categorise the trip into 3 phases all as good as the other, all focused on the rarest and unique temperate forests in the World and the unusual and ancient aspects of it.

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Reviewed April 20, 2017
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Thank Holger N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ruth-Wayne, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded April 22, 2017

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