Tours and Tickets

Waiatoto River Safari provided by Waiatoto River Safari

Waiatoto River Safari
5
Book in advance
from
£125.64
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
100% of travellers recommend this experience
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this booking up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Duration:
2h
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
15
Wheelchair accessible
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
  • Duration:
    2h
  • Taking Covid-19 safety measures
  • Group size:
    15
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Ticket type:
    Mobile
  • Free cancellation
About
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
What to expect
Know before you go
  • Duration: 2h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
What to expect
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 7917P1
Important information
Inclusions
  • National park fees
  • Warm jacket and boots if required
  • Life-jacket
  • Post card souvenirs
  • Coffee and/or Tea
  • Snacks
  • Entry/Admission - Waiatoto River Safari
Exclusions
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Duration
2h
Departure details
  • 1975 Haast-Jackson Bay Road, Jackson Bay 7886, New Zealand Important: Check in is 30 minutes before departure. Last house on left of Hannahs Clearing village, look for signs and park on main road.
  • 2704A Haast-Jackson Bay Road, Jackson Bay 7886, New Zealand Finish point is same as departure point at the carpark at Waiatoto River.
Additional information
  • 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
  • Check in is 30 minutes prior to departure. The boat does leave on time.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travellers
Inclusions
  • National park fees
  • Warm jacket and boots if required
  • Life-jacket
  • Post card souvenirs
  • Coffee and/or Tea
  • Snacks
  • Entry/Admission - Waiatoto River Safari
Exclusions
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Departure details
  • 1975 Haast-Jackson Bay Road, Jackson Bay 7886, New Zealand Important: Check in is 30 minutes before departure. Last house on left of Hannahs Clearing village, look for signs and park on main road.
  • 2704A Haast-Jackson Bay Road, Jackson Bay 7886, New Zealand Finish point is same as departure point at the carpark at Waiatoto River.
Duration
2h
Return details
  • 2704A Haast-Jackson Bay Road, Jackson Bay 7886, New Zealand Finish point is same as departure point at the carpark at Waiatoto River.
Additional information
  • 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
  • Check in is 30 minutes prior to departure. The boat does leave on time.
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travellers
Travel safe during COVID-19
Last updated: 11 Mar 2022
A note from Waiatoto River Safari
Covid-19 safety plan in place, masks and vaccine pass required upon check in. Full refund for covid related travel plan changes. Social distancing at all times on tour.
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Contactless payment for gratuities and add-ons
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Face masks provided for travellers
Itinerary
  • You'll start at
    1975 Haast-Jackson Bay Road
    1975 Haast-Jackson Bay Road, Jackson Bay 7886, New Zealand
    Important: Check in is 30 minutes before departure. Last house on left of Hannahs Clearing village, look for signs and park on main road.
    See address & details
  • 1
    Waiatoto River Safari
    Stop: 2 hours - Admission included
    Discover one of Kiwi’s favourite tours on the West Coast NZ, taking a jet boat up a remote back country river into UNESCO South West New Zealand World Heritage Area. Nature, heritage and scenic tour for all ages.
    Read more
  • You'll end at
    2704A Haast-Jackson Bay Road
    2704A Haast-Jackson Bay Road, Jackson Bay 7886, New Zealand
    Finish point is same as departure point at the carpark at Waiatoto River.
    See address & details
+
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
97 reviews
Excellent
91
Very good
6
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0

Costa Katsoulis
1 contribution
Nov 2020
A trip to this part of the country is not complete without seeing the diversity of the Waiatoto river and mountains in this World Heritage Park, it is a very inspiring experience and should be part of your bucket list if you have managed to travel to Haast. My wife and I were the only people on the trip that day, and were treated as VIP's by our guide and owner Ruth, although this is a common theme amongst reviewers.

The views are amazing and the knowledge of the area and the way Ruth explains brings it all to life in a genuine way. Learnt a lot about kiwi conservation, the seismic plate that cuts through the river, showed and explained the fish species in the river, and whitebaiting.

It started to rain heavy as the boat departed, but we kept dry under the boat roof, so don't be put off by the weather. The trip was not a thrill seekers ride in a Hamilton jet boat, it was a safe comfortable way to explore the river with a bit of fun on the side. Well worth the price.
Written 4 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi NZCovidTravel, I love your name here and thank you for travelling our beautiful country to support owner operator business's such as ours. We are proud to be 'not a thrill seekers ride' and heartened that you realised the rain was part of the experience. We appreciate you felt this was value for money as we put much effort into our tours because every guest deserves the very best from us and what we can show case of our incredible area. We love this place and would like to educate New Zealanders to visit and stay in Haast as there is so much to do here. Great to meet you both and thanks for spending time with us. All the best Ruth & Wayne.
Written 8 November 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kilcoy Queen
Christchurch, New Zealand25 contributions
May 2021 • Friends
Well, this had everything to make a river Safari top class. Kim was our tour guide/ driver and Ruth took care of the payment etc. we were a group of 4 along with another group of 4 and the river didn’t let us down. We travelled up to the gorge and back down stream to the ocean bar. Kim stopped along the way to allow us to witness a mob of beef cattle, complete with steam rising from their bodies, being droved through the bush and across the Waiatoto River. What a bonus. The backdrop of native bush and snow capped mountains, a beautiful river and the cattle was like something out of a movie. We also stopped along the way for a bush experience along with a hit cuppa. Congratulations to Ruth and her team for putting together something I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a River Safari in South Westland. Thank you
Written 2 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you 48frost for such an interesting review. Kim being the local farmer sure knows how to time things when it comes to spotting his cattle in live action within the valley. I am thrilled you enjoyed the tour and that it lived up to expectations. All the best, Ruth.
Written 22 June 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Faerygirl101
Christchurch, New Zealand50 contributions
Apr 2021
We were a family of three and enjoyed the safari so much. The trip up was really informative and we learnt lots about the local area, loved seeing the kiwi sanctuary and mountains... and the speedy trip down was so much fun!!! It was great getting off the boat and exploring the bush and beach, and yummy white bait finished the trip perfectly. Ngā mihi nui Ruth and Aru!
Written 3 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you so much for the lovely review. I am so pleased you had a great time and that our incredible nature gave you some good memories. Enjoy the rest of your holiday. Ata Marie, Ruth.
Written 4 May 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

simontrant
Winchester, UK82 contributions
We were very fortunate as there were only three of us plus our expert driver and naturalist, Wayne, in the boat. The trip up the river to the impassable rapids was exhilarating, especially through the rapids, and then downstream almost to the sea even better and demonstrated the helmsman’s skill and excellent knowledge of the river which is tested, of course, by its rise and fall. The trip up was punctuated by two stops, one about nature and in particular the Kiwi and the second more geological. Last of all at the top we had a fascinating bush walk which demonstrated Wayne’s knowledge of the environment and the use of the land.
A really excellent trip and a high point of our three weeks in New Zealand.
One tip - remember to stop at the office at the end of Hannah’s clearing before proceeding to the river
Written 16 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for spending some of your holiday with us and describing the experience so well. Also great tip - it is important to check in before proceeding to the river to fill out name details for our form. It is also a good way for me to tell you how to prepare for the tour and for payment to be made if it has not been done online. Check in is 30 minutes before departure to ensure everyone has time to check in and then catch the boat. Glad we were a high point of your New Zealand holiday! Kind regards, Ruth & Wayne.
Written 29 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paula S
1 contribution
May 2021
The whole experience was fantastic. Wayne obviously knows the beautiful river like the back of his hand. The boat trip itself was wonderful - fascinating, and so scenic, and after an exhilarating boat ride, we arrived at the most gorgeous and remote place along the river. We learned a lot along the way. We enjoyed an interesting rainforest walk. Wayne made us a hot coffee and we ate some lovely fresh scones in that pristine and peaceful place. The trip back down the river was great fun, and we loved the contrasting quiet place with its reflections and birdsong where we learned even more about the river and its fauna and flora.

We loved this whole experience, easily the best jet boat excursion we have ever been on. Don't miss it if you are down in South Westland - it's worth the trip to go there.
Written 13 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wow! Thank you for your high praise. We do enjoy South Westland and love taking people out to really experience the true pristine beauty of the place. Pleased the wood fired scones came up to expectations. Best regards, Ruth & Wayne.
Written 22 June 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Chris
3 contributions
Ruth took us for two hours up the Waiatoto and we saw how beautiful the upper reaches were. We learnt about the kiwi programme saw red rata and ancient rocks and whitebait hatching grounds. Loved every minute. We would highly recommend.
Written 8 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you CMOIs, it was a pleasure to take you out and we appreciate your high recommendation. All the best for the rest of your holiday. Kind regards, Ruth.
Written 8 November 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KeHin
Manchester, UK43 contributions
We were a group of five, including young children, and we all loved the experience. Wayne was hugely knowledgeable about the regional flora and fauna, and it made the whole trip more interesting. The boat was loads of fun - mostly quite calm and peaceful but a few faster and more exciting bits that went down well with us. we were well looked after and felt it was good value for money. We went on a rainy day but that wasn’t a problem at all. The coats provided by Wayne were useful as blankets when it got a bit chilly.
Written 3 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lovely to hear that your family enjoyed the tour and thank you for taking the time to review us. We certainly aim to make sure everyone is comfortable. In our world today where everything can be so busy, we like to think we can provide some peace and quiet (along with some entertainment) for a couple of hours when people visit us. The roof on the boat provides some protection from our rain forest weather but the wooly coats are a real bonus to keep warm. Enjoy the rest of your holiday. All the best, Ruth & Wayne.
Written 9 January 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Brightsidejon
Palmerston North, New Zealand55 contributions
This is a great way to experience this part of the country. Wayne will jet boat you from the estuary to the mountains and back in a morning. He'll stop many times along the way to point out features and tell stories. At the turnaround, you'll go for a short bushwalk with more stories to tell. Then after hor drinks and scones it's an exhilarating ride back down to the estuary.
Then don't miss out on a late lunch at the Cray Pot at Jackson Bay!
Written 8 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yes don't miss out lunch at the Craypot! Or iconic Jackson bay as it is the end of the road on this side of the South Island. Well described and thanks very much for supporting us and leaving a review. Kind regards, Ruth & Wayne.
Written 18 January 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

jane cunningham
5 contributions
Nov 2021
Such incredible untouched beauty! Ruth was a skilled and generous guide, taking us to this incredible confluence of wild mountains, glacial rivers, geological features and beautiful bush. We got to see Kea and Karearea and whitebait and even got great scones. Highly recommend.
Written 7 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks to you too, Kamoandback. I really enjoyed our diverse conversation that day, on what was a very beautiful back drop. It was a pleasure to meet you both and I really appreciated taking you out to experience the pristine nature that I am fortunate enough to call home. All the very best, Ruth and family.
Written 9 December 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kevin M
Coventry, UK22 contributions
Feb 2020
This is about Wayne escorting interested tourists up the Waitoto to understand more of the nature and ecology along the weather. The trip goes up to the rapids featuring the Sharks Tooth rock and a short tramp through the bush. Again understanding how cattle are farmed up at the top and taken down river is facinating. Wayne must have done this hundreds of times but never sounds bored. His enthusiasm for this area is infectious. A great trip
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Love the title! It says it in 3 words. Thank you Kevin for taking the time to write a succinct and informative review. All the best, Ruth & Wayne.
Written 29 February 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 94
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Waiatoto River Safari
NWarner71
NWarner71
00
Fantastic river adventure
Fantastic! Despite the light rain we had a fun trip up the river. Very informative host, delicious scones and white
hughrlees
hughrlees
00
Waitoto River Safari
Highly recommended. Excellent trip to the head waters of the Waitoto River in Jackson’s bay near Haast. Our guide w
Reynard1
Reynard1
00
A great trip.
We were two couples travelling in the Haast area looking for something on the river. We came across this trip and a
Franzson
Franzson
00
Great tour!
Had read about this in Lonely P. and thought we give it a try. Really enjoyed the trip. Booked it just in the morni
maxminshull
maxminshull
00
Summer Cloudy Trip
Great trip with Wayne. Very cool area of the country. I constantly pressed him with questions and he had all the an
Marcus B
Marcus B
00
Thanks for a great trip
Most peoplw are familiar with jwt boats as thrill rides, with 360 degree spins etc. Butbas Wayne explains their ori
tjbbackdoc
tjbbackdoc
00
What a blast!
I was skeptical about a boat ride up a river because I am an experienced boat owner myself. I have to say I was ple
HollyFan
HollyFan
00
Very exciting trip
Booked this as a surprise for my husbands birthday and it was lots of fun and very informative. Very cold but Wayne
kiwi_sez
kiwi_sez
00
Unforgettable nature experience which is educational too!
An incredible experience where you can experience both the alps and the ocean in one excursion. The jet boat cruise
Elaine M
Elaine M
00
River Safari
How lucky were we, the only 2 on the trip due to it being late season. Weather was a bit wet but what can you expec
Lauren L
Lauren L
00
Nice cruise but hugely overpriced
My husband and I spent a couple of days in Haast and decided to do the Waiatoto River Safari after reading the exce
Luxgb
Luxgb
00
Woohoo - a tour without the masses!
We had an absolutely fantastic afternoon with Wayne and Ruth. What a privilege to be able to travel into this World
Phil-Lenna W
Phil-Lenna W
00
Highlight of the south island
This was possibly one of our most memorable activities on the South Island. Ruth was the consummate guide and jet b
Arandee
Arandee
00
Highlight tour
We travelled the South Island with our adult children and included the 10am journey up the river with Wayne. This w
Kiwi1949
Kiwi1949
00
Stunning jet boat river experience
Wayne was very knowledgeable about the river and its history. It was a great cruise through spectacular scenery
Frequently Asked Questions about Waiatoto River Safari

Waiatoto River Safari will start at 11:00 AM. Discover and book Waiatoto River Safari on Tripadvisor

Waiatoto River Safari price starts from £125.73. Discover and book Waiatoto River Safari on Tripadvisor

Waiatoto River Safari cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Waiatoto River Safari on Tripadvisor

Waiatoto River Safari is hosted by Waiatoto River Safari. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Waiatoto River Safari on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Waiatoto River Safari on Tripadvisor