Waiatoto River Safari

Per Person
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Tour Information

Key Details

  • Mobile Voucher Accepted
  • Free Cancellation
  • Duration: 2 Hrs 15 Mins
  • Language:
  • Departure Time :
    November - April, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, May - October, 11am, Check-in is 30 minutes prior to each departure time at Waiatoto River Safari base.
  • Departure Details :
    Waiatoto River Safari Base, Haast, South Westland.
  • Return Details :
    Tour ends at the Waiatoto River Bridge.


Jet boat nature safari tour, Haast, South Westland. Small personal groups or exclusive tours by jet boat into remote back country, to touch and learn about natural history of New Zealand's remote World Heritage Area. Personalized by owner/operator, your guide and jet boat driver.  Many stops for commentary on the native birds, animals and forest of the South Westland region. A photographer's dream, stretch your legs at the top of the river for an optional forest walk into New Zealand's rain forest. Touch the ferns, listen birds and later spot the fish. Ideal for all ages and physical fitness. For infants to elderly, this is a must do, to explore the UNESCO World Heritage area-Te Wahipounamu of South Westland, New Zealand.


  • Excellent value for money
  • Perfect for all ages and skill level
  • Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
  • Family friendly
  • See native wildlife in their natural environment
  • Choice of morning or afternoon departure
  • Travel by boat and see the sights from the water
  • Led by a local guide

Know More about this tour

Arrive at Waiatoto River Safari base for check-in 30 minutes prior to departure of your chosen tour. You will be briefed on what to wear and warm jackets and boots are available, at no charge, for you to take on the boat at this point.

Drive approximately 5 miles (8km) down Jackson Bay road to meet your Captain and the boat. He will provide a life jacket and you will board the boat and receive a safety brief. Commentary begins as you start your cruise up the river. The format of the tour is explained and the journey up the river takes about an hour with several commentary stops and photo opportunity stops.

After a very varied scenic journey to the top of the river you have the option to disembark and view the river and take a walk into the rain forest to view different ancient forest trees, touch ferns and listen to the birds. Total time at this stop is about 25 minutes to take in the atmosphere. The forest walk is completely optional.

Once on the boat, the tour takes a 20 minute non-stop faster run back down the river to the river mouth to look at the Tasman sea and sea birds. Then the boat travels up a side tributary which has completely different scenery, as it is a separate river, with much bird and fish life. Bird spotting such as the white heron and fantails happen here, along with fish spotting for flounder, whitebait and trout.

Guests are offered the option of hamilton turns, which are the high speed 360 jet boat turn. Guests that would like these, stay on the boat and 2 turns are done and then the boat parks for disembarkment. Those who do not require these disembark before the turns are completed.
Suggestions are then offered about what there is to do and and see further down Jackson road which is the most southern end of the road on the west coast, ending approximately 13miles south.


  • National park fees
  • Live commentary on board
  • Local guide
  • Warm jacket and boots if required
  • Life-jacket
  • Post card souvenirs


  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Children must be accompanied by an adult

Wear sensible clothes and closed-toed footwear

A minimum of 2 people per booking is required

Sandflies are present on the West Coast of NZ so protection is insect repellant and covering up. Insect spray is avalaible free of charge

Currently mobile phone coverage is not available in South Westland