We did the Siberia experience.
The plane was out when we arrived at about 9.40 so we had a short wait. We had booked the experience as one, but had to pay separately for the flight and the jetboat return. We got kitted out (with rubber shoes) and then we walked over the road where the Cessna was parked in the field. We were flying with a New Zealand couple, one in a single seat in the back, one next to the pilot and us in the middle seats. It was all very cosy and just a little cramped.
There followed a good scenic flight along the mountain valleys. We were able to approach the mountains closely because the smaller plane was very manoeuvrable.
From the plane, the pilot indicated where we were pick up the jet boat and also the path through the forest we would be taking. Then we saw the airstrip! It was tiny. A sharp left turn was needed for the approach and then we landed. The grass airstrip appeared to be about 10 feet wide and in a completely remote valley.
We retrieved our bags, put on our rubber shoes and got ready to negotiate the Siberia stream. In the UK this would have been considered as a river. It was about 30 feet directly across and just below knee height in depth. Being fed from the glaciers, it was also very cold. The route was diagonally across; otherwise there would have been deep sections so the total to wade through was more like 60 feet.
Having negotiated this, we saw the plane take off for the return to base. Apart from the other couple we were in wilderness. It took the best part of 30 minutes to dry off, put dry socks and boots on, take a chocolate bar and get set ready for the 3 hour hike down the Siberia valley to the jet boat.
The walk was lovely. The track was clearly marked with no possibility of getting lost. The vegetation was different to that we saw on the Queen Charlotte Track. This part of the country was colder and wetter, so there were more ferns and mosses. Everything was damper. On the open stretches, the views were superb including some spectacular waterfalls on the other side of the valley. Generally we felt alone, but during the 3 hour hike we did come across just a few people coming the other way.
We descended gradually and eventually came down to the river and found the rendezvous point for the jet boat. This location provided our first encounter with sand flies.
The jet boat was well suited to the type of wide, shallow river found in this part of NZ. We sped at around 45-50mph; I held on to my glasses most of the way. The speciality was 360 degree turns. This involved a fairly fast approach to a flat area of water, a sharp turn through a full circle, coming to a stop.
We were still in a very remote area and had great views of the mountains surrounding the river valley. The trip back to Makarora took about 35 minutes.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC