The Wairaurahiri River Jet services the South Coast of Fiordland National Park including Lake Hauroko and the Wairaurahiri River. Lake Hauroko is the deepest lake in New Zealand and is drained by the Wairaurahiri River, which falls 200 meters to sea level and is 27 kilometres of grade 3 white water rapids. The river is commonly described as New Zealands longest waterfall.
Aboard the Jet you will speed over Lake Hauroko and then dive into the intake of the Wairaurahiri River - one of New Zealands most remote and untouched rivers. Unique and secluded, the river flows through Virgin Beech forest that is over 1 million years old. A spectacular jet boat experience that is an ultimate combination of thrilling jetboating and natural surrounding.
Along the way you will speed past bush clad banks and through rock strewn rapids. This is a journey deep into the Southern Wilderness of Fiordland. You also have the option of a short walk over the Wairaurahiri Swingbridge into the ancient temperate rainforest.
When the South Coast is found at the end of the Wairaurahiri River, consider the option of trekking inland to view the mighty Percy Burn Viaduct or just sit back and take in the abundance of wildlife that is found on New Zealands South Coast.
The Wairaurahiri River Jet itself is based in Otautau - a small Southland town - and is only a short distance from Lake Hauroko.
Owner and operator Paul Roff has over 20 years experience jet boating and knows the region very well. He has a vast knowledge of the jetboating industry, local history and bushcraft. Paul spent many of his earlier years competing in the now World renowned motor sport of 'Jet Sprinting' gaining 3rd place in the NZ standings for the Modified Class.
A member of the NZJBA and NZCJBA he started the business back in 1994 providing a means of transport for hunters and trampers. Since then, the business has grown into one of the best jetboating experiences in New Zealand.
Paul still services the local market however, and can provide special charters for photographers, hunters and trampers. He has progressed from his first jet boat to a new custom built boat - specially designed for the grade 3 river conditions. It offers superb handling, power and safety features.
Click here for more information on the jet boats.
The area on the South Coast of New Zealand has a fascinating history covering more than a century and a great variety of people. During the early 1900's Port Craig was New Zealand's largest and most modern sawmill. Logs were bought to the mill via a tramway from the terrace forests between the Wairaurahiri River and Port Craig.
Huge viaducts were constructed to carry the tram lines over steep-sided ravines, and even today these viaducts still stand. The viaducts were made from Australian hardwood that was able to withstand the harsh South Coast conditions. The largest of the viaducts - the Percy Burn Viaduct - stands some 36 meters above the creek bed and is 125 meters in length.
Today, all of the viaducts have been fully restored to their former condition. Milling ceased in 1932, after 1400 hectares had been logged. Old wharf piles remain, along with old building materials and the Port Craig school house.
As entry into our South Coast is not easy, our aim is to operate our Wild South Coast jet boat adventure in harmony with this unique environment. Taking visitors via Lake Hauroko and the Wairaurahiri River, our team is committed to safety, quality and preservation of nature.
Safety Comes First
The Wairaurahiri River Jet is Safe and Reliable!!
We have been operating on the Wairaurahiri River for over 23 years and are the original operaters, we are also the only operaters on the river who can TRUTHFULLY CLAIM A 100% 'SAFETY' RECORD. We don't aspire to be the biggest jet boat operation in New Zealand just the best, to us quality and our 100% Safety record is more important than quantity.
Our jet boat under goes an anual safety audit by 'Maritime New Zealand'. Maintenance is strictly adhered to and your driver is qualified for emergency first aid. We have no age limit for participants however passengers with back complaints,pregnant or under the age of 4 are advised not to participate. All passengers are briefed on safety prior to departure.