One of easiest ways of seeing this areas magnificent scenery is from a Jet boat.
The companies that are well know are often booked in advance for the busy times of the year. Especially early in the morning. For the Queenstown area the following companies are your choices, with a brief comment on the trips main features and advantages.
Shotover Jet. – Probably the most well known jet boat ride in New Zealand. When in Queenstown this is quick 25 minute ride which gives you a exciting ride through two dramatic canyons. Allow an hour Queenstown to Queenstown. A trip on the Shotover can easily be incorporated in with Combination packages, making good use of your time. For those people with limited time this is the trip.
Skippers Canyon Jet – Probably the best way to see the scenic Skippers Canyon is by doing the Skippers Canyon Jet boat. This gives you a four wheel drive trip into the Canyon along with a exciting 30 minutes of white water Jet boating. The price is the same as the Shotover jet. We suggest that you do this in the afternoon as the trip takes 3 hours. By doing it in the afternoon, this will not cut too much into your day at Queenstown. You will also get good views of the Remarkable mountains on your return trip. A very scenic trip.
Kawarau Jet – It’s an absorbing 43km’s of adventure. You travel past lake side homes on the Frankton Arm of Lake Wakitipu, to the deep turquoise waters of the Kawarau River then onto the narrow shallow braided waters of the lower Shotover River, it’s an unforgettable, hours trip. Departs from the bottom of the Mall in Queenstown.
Goldfields Jet – This ride is in the lower section of the Kawarau Gorge, just after you leave Cromwell heading towards Queenstown. This is a big river experience that offers a trip then heads up the river and into the spectacular Kawarau Gorge. As the river narrows the rapids begin to form, stopping at the foot of the mighty Staircase Rapid before returning down river to Goldfields Jet Base finishing with our unique 360-degree spin.
The duration of the trip is 40 minutes and includes an extensive commentary on the history of the area and other points of interest. A Chinese gold mining village is close to the departure point.
The following 4 trips show you the Southern Alps.
Dart Wilderness Safari – This trip is very popular, with several options available.
A good day trip will be had if you drive yourself up to the top of the lake Wakatipu to Glenorchy and take the Dart Safari Jetboat ride. On the boat you will see that the scenery gets better and better as you go up into the National Park. This trip includes a 20 minute walk as well as a 4X4 ride through an area where the ‘Lord of the Rings’ was filmed. The area is called ‘Paradise’ originally after the Paradise ducks, but also for it’s scenery. A popular option with the boats is to come back down the river on inflatable canoes, locally they are known as FunYaks. This makes a full day trip, and is lots of fun.
For those that don’t want to do the walk there is a full boat option This is called the Jet boat safari.
Wilkin River Jets – If you are going to travel the West Coast road of the South Island, this could be a option as you travel over the Haast Pass. The River Safari takes 60 Minutes
Enjoy 50km of New Zealand wilderness river jet boating amidst native beech forest, pristine river valleys and rugged ice capped mountains.
Haast River Safari – A way of breaking up the long drive up the west coast is to stop off at Haast. The morning departure is a great option for those who have spent the previous night in the Haast Area; while the afternoon trip leaves ample time for those traveling on either to the Glaciers or Wanaka/Queenstown. 90 minute return trips 9 am & 2 pm departures.
Waiatoto River Jet boat Safari – Discover the worlds first and only sea to mountain river safari exploring the South-West World Heritage Area. This trip has to be our recommendation for those that have the time to do it. Value for money with 2.5 Hours of Backcountry Jet boating, 3 Hours Haast to Haast, 9-00am 12-00pm 3-00pm The section in the rain forest is magical.
ph +64 3 750 0780 fax +64 3 750 0007
Wairaurahiri Jet – – This all day adventure is 90km of jet boating into the heart of Fiordland National Park and back; travel across Lake Hauroko and down to the rugged southern coast via the wild Wairaurahiri River. This operates out of Tuatapere