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Waiatoto River Safari

Highlights
  • Excellent value for money
  • Perfect for all ages and skill level
  • Once-in-a-Lifetime Experience
More
Waiatoto River Safari
From US$133.91
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
Select Date and Travelers
Waiatoto River Safari 10am.Most Popular
One incredible journey, an eco-jet boat tour of 2.25 hours. Experience the remote beauty of the forest and river, listening to native birds, touching the forest and learning about the rich history.
US$133.91
Waiatoto River Safari 4pm
One incredible journey, an eco-jet boat tour of 2.25 hours. Experience the remote beauty of the forest and river, listening to native birds, touching the forest and learning about the rich history.
US$133.91
Waiatoto River Safari 1pm.
One incredible journey, an eco-jet boat tour of 2.25 hours. Experience the remote beauty of the forest and river, listening to native birds, touching the forest and learning about the rich history.
US$133.91
Show 1 more
Overview
Explore the rivers and rainforests of New Zealand’s beautiful South Westland region on this 2-hour Waitato River safari from Haast. Hop aboard your boat and cruise up the mighty Waitato River with your guide. Admire attractive flora and fauna thriving on the riverbanks and learn of the rainforest’s varied animal and bird life. Take an optional hike into the rainforest, and enjoy thrilling spins and turns over the waves. Watch the skies for native white heron and fantails, and look out for flounder, whitebait and trout in the clear waters.
What to Expect
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.
Reviews (36)
1 - 5 of 36 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Fab trip

Haast and the surrounding area is beautiful. This trip is a great chance to see scenery you cant actually walk to or drive to. Ruth made the booking process very easy and did an awesome morning tea thank you. Wayne took us out on the...More

Thank Wrighty2002
Ruth-Wayne, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

So pleased you had a good time. The morning tea is a nice addition to the Winter tour. Although we do not currently have cell phone coverage here, I am always on the end of the email, or not far from the phone for queries....More

Reviewed 24 July 2018
Great Birthday Surprise

I booked this as a surprise for my husband and it was certainly well worth the money. Terrific scenery and commentary by Wayne. Very exciting jet boat ride that had us crying out with excitement.

Thank HollyFan
Ruth-Wayne, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 4 August 2018

Thank you HollyFan for your review. I am thrilled that you had such a great surprise for your husband and that you enjoyed the boat tour so much! Kind regards, Ruth & Wayne.

Reviewed 22 June 2018 via mobile
One of the best activities I did in NZ - worth every cent

I looked at a review that said it was overpriced: RIDICULOUS. It was worth every cent. The couple Ruth and Wayne were amazing. Such a personalized experience. You know what? The experience is probably worth EVEN MORE than what you pay for. The amazing boat...More

1  Thank Mlsoong
Ruth-Wayne, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 11 July 2018

Mlsoong, thank you so much for this outstanding review. We really enjoyed meeting your family and are pleased you felt - as we do - it is extremely good value for money. It is difficult to find an activity that exceeds over 2 hours, for...More

Reviewed 30 April 2018
Thoroughly enjoyable

We totally enjoyed our boat ride with Wayne. The treats in a basket from Ruth were a fabulous bonus! They were so helpful as a couple. Being a paraplegic, they worked with us to accommodate my needs. My husband did pick me up and put...More

1  Thank ac123560
Ruth-Wayne, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2018

Thank you for your review. We think this place is so very special that every single person should be able to join us on the tour, if that is what they would like to do. That is why we welcome infants through to elderly and...More

Reviewed 29 April 2018
Excellent day out

What a great way to spend my birthday! Ruth greeted my partner and I with a friendly, warm welcome and check in was fast and easy. Wayne was our tour guide who clearly knew a lot about the area and took us to places it...More

1  Thank Rachel K
Ruth-Wayne, Owner at Waiatoto River Safari, responded to this reviewResponded 4 May 2018

Rachel, thank you for your lovely review. We were thrilled to learn it was a birthday highlight. It is wonderful and easy way to access an area that is not accessed in other ways unless walking or kayaking for days is on your agenda. We...More

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