Wilderness Jet

A Dart River Wilderness Jet is part exploration, part discovery and part amazement at the stunning scenery that unfolds as you travel deep into the rivers and forests of the Dart River Valley and into the Te Wai Pounamu World Heritage site.

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The Experience

Dart River Wilderness jet boat connection Rockburn streamAn unmissable journey into the Dart River Valley, where myth, heritage and fantasy come to life.

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

This rich and diverse landscape offers a unique combination of breathtaking scenery, exhilarating experiences and New Zealand’s most exciting jet boating along glacier-fed rivers.

Our professional and highly trained staff will guide you along your journey, sharing stories of the area’s amazing history, great Maori legends and Greenstone trail.Dart WJ forest walk tall trees
Stroll through ancient beech forest, unchanged in over 80 million years and view the scenic backgrounds for many Middle Earth movie scenes. Book now for an authentic New Zealand experience in an untouched world.

Enjoy the Dart River Wilderness Jet trip with FREE KRUSE GPS audio tour.. 

Kruse headsets Dart River

Request a Kruse GPS with your booking and enjoy outstanding audio commentary in your preferred language.

Click the language you want to hear one of our 30 commentaries
ChineseGermanJapaneseSpanish or French



Your Day on the Dart

i blue boat Over an hour of high-speed thrills on your Dart River Wilderness Jet.  Experience the best jet boating in NZ, as you power into the Te Waipounamu World Heritage Area.

i blue tree Learn about the flora, fauna and rich history of the area on a 30 minute forest walk with your friendly guide.

i blue film

On a back-road tour, discover parts of Middle Earth, Narnia and many other treasured movie locations.  

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

i blue horse Hear tales of early settlers who carved abundant farms from the harsh and rugged landscape..

Departure Times, Trip Info & Rates 

Departs Daily (weather permitting) 

Dart River Wilderness Trip Hollow treeQueenstown - 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

DART Mt Earnslaw and Dart River valleySUMMER 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.



Rates valid from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018

1/10/17 - 31/12/17 $ 239 $ 139

$ 617  SAVE $ 139

HIGH SEASON 1/1/18 - 31/3/18 $ 259 $ 159 $ 667  SAVE $ 169
1/4/18 - 30/9/18 $ 249 $ 149 $ 647  SAVE $ 149


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

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

Please note we are unable to carry pregnant women on our trips.


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

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.

Wilderness Jet Photos 

DRJS Jet Boat 5DRJS Jet Boat 6

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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.

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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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