Things to Do in Haast for Couples
Well done. You’re one of the very few couples that think outside of the box when looking for destinations to visit in the South Island. Haast is a true hidden gem – remote, rugged and basking in mountains-to-sea scenery. Its attractions are scattered throughout a 100km (60-mile) radius, but getting there is all part of the fun with every drive being something spectacular. What’s more, when it comes to landscapes, there are multiple ways to enjoy it that’s suitable for most couples’ styles and budgets. Think free walks to lavish helicopter excursions. Choose your experiences to share with that special someone using this list of the most romantic activities in Haast.
For more things to do in Haast for couples, as well as romantic accommodation ideas, check out The Honeymoon Guide to Haast.
1. Enjoy One of Haast’s Romantic Walks
Haast is all about the scenery and, as you’ll probably know by the time you reach this South Island destination, one of the best ways to enjoy the scenery in New Zealand is to go on a walk. The area surrounding Haast has many beautiful walks to enjoy hand-in-hand. Ship Creek is a popular choice with two short walks incorporating boardwalk-lined sand dunes and natural kahikatea (white pine) forest. Head to Jackson Bay and you’ll also find a wealth of walks, from the Hapuka Estuary Walk to watch wildlife on the way to the popular and diverse coastal scenery of the Wharekai-Te Kou Walk.
Location: Check out the locations of the mentioned walks and others in the 6 Best Walks in Haast.
2. Land by Alpine Lakes or Fly to Milford Sound via Helicopter
An intimate experience yet with some of the grandest landscapes, helicopter flights are well worth choosing for a special occasion. HeliServices.NZ and Greenstone Helicopters both offer a complete menu of helicopter tours, from short coastal flights to excursions all the way to Milford Sound. In between, you’ll find romantic options like HeliServices.NZ’s flight to “The Hanging Lakes” seeing cascading waterfalls on the way to a landing beside gorgeous alpine lakes. There’s also the “Aspiring” tour with Greenstone Helicopters taking you from the rugged coast to the mountaintops of the Mt Aspiring National Park awash in rainforest, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, mountains and glaciers.
Location: HeliServices.NZ – Corner of State Highway 6 and Marks Road, Haast township. Greenstone Helicopters – Airport Lane, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Haast township.
3. Take a Scenic Fixed-wing Flight Over a World Heritage Area
Swap the helicopter for a soaring adventure on a fixed-wing flight with Knights Point Air. Join your ranger pilot, Blair, for a flight over the Mt Aspiring National Park where he does extensive kiwi conservation work and even offers a tour surrounding this theme. Alternatively, a great option for couples, the “Backcountry Flight” experience takes you to a remote backcountry airstrip among the mountains to spend the night in hut with no phone reception, no disturbance; just you and your loved one in the majestic surrounds to the soundtrack of native birds.
Location: Airport Lane, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Haast township.
4. Enjoy a Romantic Stroll on Haast Beach
What romantic getaway is complete without a long walk on the beach? Haast Beach is simply stunning with its driftwood-scattered shores and mountain views. Just north of the township, the beach is well-worth checking out. Just remember to take your insect repellent! See more like this in the 10 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Haast.
Location: Haast-Jackson Bay Road, approximately 7km (4 miles) from Haast township.
5. Experience the Mt Aspiring National Park Scenery via Jet Boat
Another way to admire the magnificent landscapes of Haast is on a jet boat tour, of which you have two options in Haast and two options in Makarora at the other end of Haast Pass. In Haast, Waiatoto River Safari (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) and Haast River Safari offers tours suitable for all weathers in their enclosed jet boats taking you along the glacier-fed rivers of the Mt Aspiring National Park. On the other end of Haast Pass, Wilkin River Jets and Siberia Experience both offer small-group tours among the majestic Mt Aspiring National Park with options to combine the experience with hiking and helicopter tours. Find out more about each specific operator in the 7 Luxury Activities in Haast.
Location: Waiatoto River Safari – 1975 Hannahs Clearing, Haast-Jackson Bay Road, approximately 22km (14 miles) from Haast township. Haast River Safari – Eastern end of the Haast River road bridge, approximately 4km (2 miles) from Haast township. Wilkin River Jets – Rata Road, Makarora, approximately 78km (48 miles) from Haast township. Siberia Experience – 5944 Haast Pass-Makarora Road, Makarora, approximately 78km (48 miles) from Haast township.
6. Treat Your Loved One to a Romantic Dining Experience
While rugged taverns and casual cafes are the vibe of Haast’s dining scene, you’ll have to travel a little further afield to find cafes and restaurants that have something “romantic” about them. The Cray Pot in Jackson Bay is a 100km (60-mile) detour that many agree is worth taking to enjoy the ultra-fresh fish baskets and whitebait fritters along with unrivalled views of the bay. At the other end of the Haast Pass, the Wonderland Cafe of the Wonderland Makarora Lodge offers rustic dining by the fire or alfresco options to soak in the mountain scenery. Here, enjoy well-presented plates of locally-sourced lamb dishes, antipasto platters, cheeseboards and more. Finally, guests at Mahitahi Lodge can opt to be treated to a romantic dinner with cheese platters with salami made with local venison, whitebait, blue cod, lamb shanks or a fillet of beef. New Zealand wine and beer is also served as part of the dining experience.
Location: The Cray Pot – Haast-Jackson Bay Road, approximately 51km (30 miles) from Haast township. Wonderland Cafe – 5944 Haast Pass-Makarora Road, Makarora, approximately 78km (48 miles) from Haast township. Mahitahi Lodge – 4667 Haast Highway, Bruce Bay, approximately 74km (46 miles) from Haast township.