Aspiring Wilderness Experience

This full day adventure delivers the best of both worlds. Your guided journey starts with the thrills of a Dart River Wilderness Jet trip, and continues with a serene wilderness walk through the ancient beech forest of Mount Aspiring National Park.

The only way to navigate the shallow glacial waters of the Southern Alps is by the great Kiwi innovation that revolutionised high-country transport - the jet boat. Our jet boat drivers have superb skills behind the wheel and know their river intimately. Your driver will take frequent stops on this unique 35km journey to explain the geology and lore of the ancient and unspoiled lands you traverse.

Just over one-and-a-half fascinating hours later, your guide will meet you at a secret spot on the banks of the Dart River. They will then lead you on a very gentle ascent under a canopy of native beech forest where nature provides the soundtrack of birdsong.

Guided Walks New Zealand has exclusive off track access in this area so you're assured of a truly unique experience. The vast numbers of plant species compete for your attention, along with the orchestra of native bird life. Your guide will point out your new and inquisitive travelling companions as they stop by to look you over.

A delicious picnic lunch is taken on the shores of Lake Sylvan where you may be joined by some of NZ’s most iconic birds such as Bush Robins, Fantails and Tomtits. The lake’s brooding waters have a reddish-brown tint picked up from plants by its feeder streams on their journey down the hillsides over the 11,000 years of its existence. Lake Sylvan teems with native trout and the most attractive species of geese and ducks when in season.

Winding back from the lake, the track ambles through to the Routeburn, flowing down the very edge of the forest and on to your luxury transport. From there, it’s a short drive through rich farmland to Glenorchy, where you might like to enjoy a brief refreshing stop in the local cafe before the trip back to Queenstown.

Prices (seasonal)

Adult

$399

Age 16+

Child

$285

Age 8–15

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This experience is provided in partnership with our sister brand Guided Walks New Zealand

Itinerary

Jet Boat

Jet boat (1.5 hrs)

Jet boat far up the Dart River into a wilderness before meeting your guide.

Walk

Walk (2-3 hrs)

6-7km of easy to moderate walking both on and off trail through beautiful native bush meeting native birds.

Picnic

Picnic Lunch (1 hr)

A delicious picnic lunch is taken on the shores of Lake Sylvan where you may be joined by some of NZ’s most iconic birds such as Bush Robins, Fantails and Tomtits.

Bus

Bus (30 mins)

A short drive through rich farmland to Glenorchy, where you might like to enjoy a brief refreshing stop in the local cafe before the trip back to Queenstown.

Dart River Adventures, Wilderness Jet
Bush Robin, New Zealand bird
Guided Walks NZ, Lake Sylvan

Testimonials

After the scintillating jet boat ride on the Dart River, our guide Peter (who should be considered a national treasure in New Zealand) led us on a beautiful hike through an ancient Beech forest that included a picnic lunch and a visit to a cave once used by the Maori. Peter enjoys sharing his impressive knowledge of the area, tossing in bits of survival advice with a number of amusing anecdotes about his past experiences. What a great day!

Lafayette

Colorado

Trip Information

When will you be visiting us?

Aspiring Wilderness Experience

Departs Queenstown

8am

What we provide:

  • Life jackets (compulsory)
  • Spray jackets (optional)
  • Lunch consisting of sandwiches, fruit, tea/coffee and cookies. Bottled water and a muesli bar is provided for you at the beginning of the walk for you to snack on

What to bring:

  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Warm outer layer
  • Supportive footwear
  • Small bag, carried at own risk
  • Camera, carried at own risk

Restrictions:

  • Minimum age is 8 years old.
  • Minimum child height is 1 metre but may be increased to 1.2m in some conditions.
  • Not suitable if you are pregnant.

Transport Options

Shuttle

Your trip includes a complimentary return shuttle from most Queenstown accommodation. You can select this when you book-in.

Queenstown

arrow

Glenorchy

Departs

8am

Self-drive

Return shuttle is included in your trip. If your accommodation falls outside of those listed when booking, please contact Guided Walks NZ directly to arrange for pick-up location: call 0800 832 226 or email info@nzwalks.com.

Aspiring Wilderness Experience

Departs Queenstown

8am

What we provide:

  • Life jackets (compulsory)
  • Spray jackets (optional)
  • Lunch consisting of sandwiches, fruit, tea/coffee and cookies. Bottled water and a muesli bar is provided for you at the beginning of the walk for you to snack on

What to bring:

  • Warm clothing
  • Windproof jacket
  • Warm gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Scarf or buff
  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Supportive footwear
  • Small bag, carried at own risk
  • Camera, carried at own risk

Restrictions:

  • Minimum age is 8 years old.
  • Minimum child height is 1 metre but may be increased to 1.2m in some conditions.
  • Not suitable if you are pregnant.

Transport Options

Shuttle

Your trip includes a complimentary return shuttle from most Queenstown accommodation. You can select this when you book-in.

Queenstown

arrow

Glenorchy

Departs

8am

Self-drive

Return shuttle is included in your trip. If your accommodation falls outside of those listed when booking, please contact Guided Walks NZ directly to arrange for pick-up location: call 0800 832 226 or email info@nzwalks.com.

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