Enjoy 30 - 40 Minutes of exhilerating jet boating along the waiau river. Take in the wide range of wildlife as you wind through the Waiau Valley

Southern Scenic Jet is located by the Historic Clifden Suspension Bridge on the Southern Scenic Route, one hour’s drive south from Manapouri and 15 minutes north of Tuatapere.

An amazing variety of bird life including the nesting sites of the worlds most endangered Gull, the Buller’s (or New Zealand) Black Beaked Gull plus a variety of migratory and Wading species.

The once mighty Waiau River Winds its way down the Waiau valley from Lake Manapouri to the sea. The area is rich in geology, Bird life, Farming Electrical generation and Forestry,

Feel free to ask our good keen southern men / drivers about the Maori and European History, geography, flora and fauna, farming, people, local attractions, (Caves, walks etc.)

Minimum numbers may apply


  • Prices valid from 1st July 2019 to 30th August 2020
  • Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • All children under 12 years of age must have adult supervision.
  • Caregiver impaired person ratio must be as per caregivers SOP.
  • Wairaurahiri Jet reserves the right to cancel any trip due to unforeseen circumstances which may endanger the guests or crew.
Waiau River Experience
Waiau River Experience

An exciting jet boat ride along the scenic Waiau River as it winds it's way from Lake Manapouri to the sea.
Duration: 30-40 Minutes
Price: $49pp (under 5's and over 90's FREE!)

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Meet Our Drivers
Meet Our Drivers

Our drivers have a wealth of knowledge on Maori / European history, geography, flora and fauna and the local area, and, are very keen to share the Waiau River, Waiau Valley and Lake Manapouri with you.

Our Drivers
Other Options
Other Options

Interested in arranging other trips or charters? Southern Scenic Jet is extremely flexible and no doubt we can accommodate your needs.  Everything from hunting tours to scenic helicopter tours.

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About Clifden


Clifden township is situated on the banks of the once mighty Waiau River draining the clear waters of Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri down to Foveaux Strait on the South Coast.

Situated near a Geological reserve featuring ancient marine fossils and sedimentary mud and limestone outcrops, the township is rich with cultural and natural heritage. Clifden is of special significance to Maori, especially the local caves. Traces of 15th century rock art is in several sites in the district.

Clifden is also rich in early European history. One of the earliest sheep stations was situated on the western bank.

The Waiau River

The Waiau in the vicinity of Clifden is a braided river system with exposed shingle beds providing nesting sites for many species of wading birds including the world’s most endangered gull, the Black Beaked Gull.

From the boat we can observe these birds as close quarters without undue disturbance to them.

The Waiau has good stocks of Brown and Rainbow Trout with the occasional Sea Run Salmon in season.

Fishing charters for the morning and evening rise are available.

The Historic Clifden Suspension Bridge was completed in 1899 (ahead of schedule and under budget). Clifden Bridge is a one hour leisurely drive south from Manapouri on the Southern Scenic Route, passing by Rakatu Wetlands and Redcliffe Wildlife Reserve also not far from the Borland Nature Walk.

Surrounding Area

The area surrounding Clifden is full of amazing natural wonders:

  • Clifden Caves, (free public access) a 5 minute drive away.
  • The Big Totara Reserve Walk a 30 minute drive.
  • Lake Hauroko with a short walk and the 3 hour loop track a 40 minute drive.
  • The Township of Tuatapere with Cafés, Supermarket, Hotel, Tuatapere Hump Track office and Bushman’s museum is just 14 km’s south on the Southern Scenic Route.
  • Invercargill is an hour and 40 minutes away via the seaside town of Riverton taking in awesome views of Te Waewae Bay on the South Coast. Be sure to stop at Gemstone beach or Monkey Island on the way.
  • Huge Limestone outcrops, including the Maori Girl’s head.
  • Ancient fossilized marine life of different ages in plain view.
  • Even the remains of a fossilized forest!