Wilderness Jet

Travel deep into the rivers and forests of the Dart River Valley. This trip is part exploration, part discovery and a large part sheer awe at the stunning scenery that unfolds as you progress up the valley into the Te Wai Pounamu World Heritage

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The Experience

A stimulating not-to-be-missed journey into the Dart River Valley where mythology, heritage & fantasy meet reality.

Your Wilderness Jet trip is an exhilarating and spectacular journey deep into the heart of the world-renowned Mt Aspiring National Park with the only jet boat operator allowed on the Dart River.

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 The sheer diversity of what’s on offer means you experience a unique combination of breathtaking scenery matched with exciting jet boating on braided, glacier-fed rivers. Highly informative guides add the personal touch, talking about the area’s history, the Greenstone trail and Maori legends. Walk amongst ancient beech forest unchanged for 80 million years and view the scenic backgrounds for many Middle Earth movie scenes. An authentic New Zealand experience in an untouched world.

Kruse headsetsAnd now enjoy your Wilderness Jet trip with KRUSE GPS audio tour. 

Chinese, German, Japanese, Spanish or French.   Click the language you want to hear one of our 30 commentaries

Request it with your booking and get an outstanding commentary alongside your knowledgeable back country guide on the landscapes, history, movie sets, farming and forest walk.  A real discovery in your own language and its FREE.  Request it when you make your booking.

Play a sample audio file by clicking on your language above.

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Your Day on the Dart

i blue boat More than an hour of thrilling high-speed wilderness jet boating skimming across the clear waters of the Dart River into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area

i blue tree Hear about flora, fauna and history on a 30 minute forest walk with your friendly guide

i blue film On a backroad tour of Paradise immerse yourself in scenes and backdrops from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies.

i blue swirl Learn about the Pounamu (Greenstone) that made the Dart River a key trading route for early Maori. 

i blue horse Tales of early settlers who carved rich farms from the rugged landscape.

Departure Times, Trip Info & Rates 

Departs Daily (weather permitting) 

Queenstown - 8am and 12.30pm  (see below for seasonal schedule)

Departs from the Queenstown Information Centre, corner Camp and Shotover Streets, Queenstown
on our complimentary shuttle 

Queenstown return 6 hours

Glenorchy - 9am and 1.30 pm

From the Dart Visitor Centre, Mull Street, Glenorchy 

Glenorchy return 3 hours

Pick ups and drop offs are provided on a scheduled transport circuit and pick up from most accommodation.  If you select your accommodation when booking online we will tell you the time and place to meet.  Allow 6 hours Queenstown return or 3 hours Glenorchy return 

SUMMER and WINTER Departure times

SUMMER departs Queenstown at 8am and 12.30pm from 1 October to 30 April.  Departs Glenorchy at 9am and 1.30pm

WINTER departs Queenstown at 8am and 12 Noon from 1 May - 30 September.  Departs Glenorchy at 9am and 1pm

  • Life jackets are mandatory and supplied along with optional spray jackets
  • Summer – Sunglasses, sun hat, sunscreen, Insect repellant and warm outer layer recommended
  • Winter – Wear warm clothing plus hat, gloves, windproof outer jacket, insect repellant and sunglasses
  • Year round – Please ensure you wear suitable supportive footwear.  The guided walk is 30 minutes long on a rolling track through the forest.



$219 $119 $557
SAVE $119
16yrs + 5 - 15yrs 2 Adults & 2 Children

Rates valid to 30 Sept 2015

From 1 October 2015 rates will be raised after a 4 year hold to keep pace with staff costs and supply price rises.  The rates will be Adult $229, Child $129 and Family $587.

Infants (3-4 years) can travel on the Wilderness Jet free of charge.

Minimum child height of 1 metre applies irrespective of child age.




Our guides and drivers are selected for their ability to relate well to people of all ages and backgrounds as well as their knowledge and love of the natural world that inhabits our playground. 

Here’s just a couple of our guides, if you want to find out more use the button below.

All our guides

Iain Marshall

Iain MarshallIain is one of our story tellers.

Found guiding the back-road portion on the Wilderness tour, Iain’s favourite place is Paradise - which is lucky considering it’s his job to show it off to customers each day! He was born and raised in Akaroa and joined the Dart team in 2005.

All our guides

Paul Simpson

Paul SimpsonPaul aka Maverick (Top Gun reference…) joined the team of jet boat drivers back in October 2011.

Often seen on any Dart brochures and videos, our poster boy is a popular one with the female passengers (usually of an older demographic). Raised on a Central Otago farm, he’s a sporty fella who enjoys biking, hiking, kayaking and building his house.

All our guides

Wilderness Jet Video


The sheer diversity of what’s on offer means you experience a unique combination of breathtaking
scenery matched with exciting jet boating on braided, glacier-fed rivers. Highly informative guides
add the personal touch, talking about the area’s history, the Greenstone trail and Maori legends.

Watch more videos in our gallery

Wilderness Jet Photos 

DRJS Jet Boat 5DRJS Jet Boat 6

View more photos

Your Stories

social 1

Check out what previous visitors to the Dart River are telling others. Find out what makes a trip down the Dart River so special, from the people who have been there and done that.

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Your Videos

Yes you can take cameras on Dart River trips – at your own risk of course – and plenty have. Check out their visual blog material here.

Watch More 


In the Media

social 2

Yes, that’s right, some people still get paid to tell others what you think and this is where you will find all their professional prose . . .

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