If you’re after some adventure on your New Zealand tour, visiting Te Anau and embarking on an exhilarating jet boat ride will definitely fit the bill. It’s one of the best ways to discover the Fiordland National Park, especially for those seeking an adrenaline rush, taking in Lake Te Anau, the Waiau River and Lake Manapouri. The Fiordland Jet Boat has been operating for over 15 years, having shown thousands upon thousands of visitors the beauty of Fiordland with a thrilling twist.
Leaving from the Te Anau lakefront, your 2-hour Te Anau jet boat experience begins with a rip-roaring ride down the Waiau River. Its surging and powerful waters make for a fun ride down the river, your driver occasionally adding fun twists and turns to the journey, with the boat also stopping so you can also enjoy some of the river’s tranquil beauty spots. Lined by ancient beech trees, there’s plenty to see if you look down at the water too: the Waiau River is filled with majestic trout. The Waiau River also played the role of the Anduin River in Lord of the Rings, so along the way you’ll also get to spot filming locations and find out more about how the river played the backdrop for the great river of Middle Earth.
The Fiordland Jet Boat then brings you to the vast and breath-taking Lake Manapouri. This tranquil lake seems to stretch out endlessly, and is surrounding by magnificent white mountains, carved out by snow and ice over the centuries. Cruising over the lake, the jet boat ride will give you the chance to gaze out over the awe-inspiring scenery and get a 360-degree view of one of Fiordland’s most beautiful lakes.
It’s then time to head on-shore, the jet boat parking on the banks of Lake Manapouri for an interesting guided walk around one of the ancient beech forests. During the walk, you’ll be shown the area’s unique flora and fauna, including the prehistoric crown ferns. The guided walk also covers the indigenous Maori culture and its legends, as well as the early European history of the area.
After your guided walk, board the jet boat one last time for a heart-stopping ride back to Te Anau, giving you another chance to appreciate the unspoilt wilderness of Fiordland and take a few more twists and turns down the river.