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Review Highlights
Exhilarating, scenic lake, mountain and river day trip deep into Southland’s extra special natural, beech forest.

Awesome day trip in the middle of winter with Wairaurahiri Jet - fantastic communication with Joyce... read more

Reviewed 8 July 2021
A MUST on your list-Exceptional area in our country

This was a stunning day for us. We drove to the Hauroko Lake and were greeted by Johan. We lucked... read more

Reviewed 10 May 2021
Margaret E
Nelson-Tasman Region, New Zealand
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Reviewed 30 October 2015

Wherever you are in Southland this is quite a long trip to get to, but well worth the journey. We met Johan at the lakeside on a rather dull morning and he handed out waterproof coveralls for those who hadn't managed to bring suitable waterproof clothing and we boarded the jet boat. It's not the most exciting trip across the lake, especially if it's a bit cold and dull but Johan gave us enough entertainment and info to keep us happy. By the time we got to the river the weather had brightened up and the real fun began.
Hurtling down the rapids in front of twin Lexus V8 engines burbling away, swerving this way and that, bouncing here and there is about as much fun as you can have on water and still remain absolutely safe and (relatively) dry. With occasional stops for updates on the wildlife, the area and checking stoat traps it was a totally exhilarating experience.
We stopped at the sea and beached for a short walk up to Waitutu lodge where Johan cooked a great barbeque lunch and we stretched our legs (and took advantage of toilet facilities).
After a suitable break we headed back up river for the return trip, which was no less fun than the downhill run. Only when we were half way back across the lake did the wind get a bit fierce and those on the windward side did get a fair amount of splashing, and as we were hanging on to the grab rails in front of us we were very happy that they were heated.
If you think this trip is only for fit and able youngsters think again, my wife and I are both pensioners with some mobility issues and we coped well enough and had a total blast. Go and support Johan in his valuable conservation work and have a great time too.

Date of experience: October 2015
Thank manofekent
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 12 April 2015

Following a 30km drive down a windy unsealed road we were met at the Lake car park by Johan. He took 8 of us across the Lake in what appeared to be a basic speed boat. He handed out wooly hats and splash jackets to anyone who wanted them. (I advise you to accept). When we reached the river he put his foot down. It was amazing. We zig zagged down river for 30km at fantastic speeds over the very shallow rocky river avoiding boulders and trees, occasionally bouncing off a protruding rock. It was the most exhilarating, exciting experience I have ever had on water. Johan was very skilful and had a dry humour. When we reached the sea we turned round, beached and had a brilliant barbecue at the Lodge. We then trecked through the forest for a short while, crossed a swing bridge and re boarded the boat which then returned at high speed, thankfully back to the Lake. At each of the short stops Johan, in his gentle, humorous manner told us the history and geography of the area and of his huge passion of trying to protect NZs birds by trapping stoats. This was our best experience in NZ and I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone.

Date of experience: February 2015
3  Thank jackiebD6544KZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 23 March 2015

Our ride down and back up the Wairaurahiri River with Johan was a thrill a second. At several stops on the beautiful forested riverbanks he was very informative about flora and fauna. He then cooked us up a fantastic feast for lunch. A multi-talented man! A multi-sensory experience. Loved it.

Date of experience: March 2015
1  Thank PippaStevo
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 15 March 2015

We were a party of five who booked our trip with Wairaurhiri Jet for the sole purpose of reaching the mouth of the river for the two day walk back along the South Coast Track. However, the trip proved to be a highlight of our NZ visit. All but one in our group have used jet boats on multiple occasions to access NZ walking routes. The trip with W Jet surpassed all other trips due to the beauty of Lake Hauroko, the unspoilt nature of the Wairaurhiri River valley, Johan's knowledge and passionate interest in protecting the local environment, Johan's skills in navigating a shallow river and Joyce's willing assistance in re-positioning one of our cars.

W Jet was also able to arrange accommodation at Waitutu Lodge at the mouth of the Wairaurahiri River that is located on Maori land and under Maori management.

Our experience with W Jet opens the very real prospect that my wife and I will be back to NZ and utilising W Jet's services to access the Dusky Sound track.

Date of experience: March 2015
2  Thank Terry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 March 2015

Absolutely brilliant trip, stops and points out interesting sights, lunch provided, Johan fits the trip to the people on board. Well worth it.

Date of experience: February 2015
Thank dreamretirement
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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