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Dart River Safari: Jet Boat Ride, Nature Walk & Lord of the Rings Locations

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Key Highlights

  • Experience the longest jet boat ride in the Queenstown region
  • Walk through the World Heritage Site of Te Waihipounamu, unchanged for millions of years
  • Visit the Lord of the Rings locations
  • Pickup and drop off services for centrally located Queenstown hotels
  • Activity Schedule
    When does it run?



    Wilderness Safari: 6 hours
    Funyaks Safari: 9 hours

    Start time

    Wilderness Safari:
    01 May-31 Oct 0800h (08:00am) and 1200h (12:00noon)
    01 Nov-30 Apr 0800h (08:00am) and 1230h (12:30pm)
    Funyaks Safari:
    01 May-31 Oct 0800h (08:00am)
    01 Nov-30 Apr 0745h (07:45am)
    Duration: Wilderness Safari: 6 hours
    Funyaks Safari: 9 hours

    Meeting Point

    Your hotel in Queenstown (Limited accommodation).
    (We would require your hotel details in order to arrange your pick up. If you do not have this information at the time of booking, please contact the local activity operator at least 48 hours prior to the start of the tour with these details)

    Ending Point

    Your hotel in Queenstown

  • Overview & Itinerary


    Located just 45 minutes from Queenstown in the frontier town of Glenorchy, is a nature lover’s paradise of rare and special beauty. Embark on an adventurous journey into the pristine wilderness of Te Waihipounamu, a World Heritage Area deep into the heart of Mt Aspiring National Park, in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

    This journey offers you three full hours of classic Jet Boat action as your expert driver negotiates the shifting shallow braided channels of the magnificent glacier-fed Dart River and adds to the excitement with thrilling jet spins.

    Take a short and easy walk through ancient forests, unchanged for 80 million years. Explore a region filled with spectacular vistas which have inspired many talented film makers to bring their projects to this area, including Lord of the Rings.


    Wilderness Safari:

    You will be picked up from your hotel and taken in a 4WD vehicle for an exciting Dart River Safari in the Dart River Valley. An English-speaking guide will accompany you on this tour.

    On arrival at the Dart River Valley you will be transferred to your jet boat to begin your adventure. The Wilderness Safari takes you on a spectacular 1.5 hour jet boat journey through the Dart River's ever-changing braided river system, where you'll be surrounded by breathtaking snow-covered peaks, hidden valleys and waterfalls.

    It includes an easy guided 30-40 minute walk through the "Heritage Trail" at Paradise, where your knowledgeable guide will enliven your walk with an informative and entertaining commentary about the ancient native beech forest, the unique flora and fauna, as well as the fascinating Maori and colonial history of the area.

    You'll also journey by 4WD coach via scenic back-road route, while hearing stories about the surrounding countryside and stopping to view scenery that has formed the epic backdrop for many international films, including "The Lord of the Rings".

    At the end of this memorable tour you will be dropped back at your hotel in Queenstown.

    Funyaks Safari:

    The Funyak Safari is the most intimate way to explore and experience every aspect of this amazing area. First of all you'll travel an exciting 1.25 hours up the Dart River by jet boat, then you'll disembark to begin your Funyak journey in one of our unique inflatable "Funyak" canoes. After full instructions, you'll be free to paddle and drift (under the watchful eye of your professional guide) for a spectacular two hours downstream, taking in all the awe-inspiring sights found amidst the Dart River's shimmering channels.

    You'll stop amongst the ancient beech forest to enjoy a wilderness buffet lunch and explore the hidden side streams, rock pools and dramatic chasms such as the beautiful Rockburn, before continuing downstream to Paradise, where you'll be taken by 4WD coach to Glenorchy, stopping to view the stunning scenery that has inspired films the world over.

    Funyaks is suitable for most ages with average fitness, no previous experience is required. Wetsuits are provided - please bring a towel plus swimwear to wear underneath.

    At the end of this memorable tour you will be dropped back at your hotel in Queenstown.

  • Inclusions & Exclusions


    • Wilderness Safari:
    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off (Limited accommodation)
    • Experienced English-speaking tour guide
    • The Dart River Safari
    • 1.5 hours of jet boating
    • A short bush walk and back road 4WD Coach journey
    • Spray and life jackets
    • Funyaks Safari:
    • Hotel pick-up and drop-off (Limited accommodation)
    • Experienced English-speaking tour guide
    • 1.25 hours jetboat ride
    • 2.25 hours inflatable kayak /canoe
    • Walk
    • Lunch
  • Please note & Additional info

    Please note

    Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details

    Voucher information: You must print and surrender a paper version of your booking voucher for this activity (showing your voucher on a smartphone is not accepted). No refund can be given for customers without a printed copy of their voucher.

    Additional info

    The confirmation voucher includes the local activity operator’s contact details and local telephone numbers at the destination. They will happily answer any logistical questions you may have

  • reviews
    • Absolutely Awsome Experience. Loved It.

      We were very happy with the whole experience. The trip was excellent....

      Sandeep Sood, Australia, 27/Jan/2011

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