7 Luxury Activities in Haast© westcoast.co.nz
7 Luxury Activities in Haast

7 Luxury Activities in Haast

© westcoast.co.nz

Premium Tours in Haast

Many visitors rushing between Wanaka and Franz Josef, barely giving Haast a second look. It’s only a tiny community in the middle of nowhere, after all. However, those who take the time to see what’s going on here will discover the gateway to New Zealand’s most pristine yet untamed wilderness. Think we’re exaggerating? The UNESCO World Heritage status of the area begs to differ.

Meet Haast’s array of fixed-wing flights, helicopter and jet boat excursions, getting you truly appreciate the majesty of its glacier-carved landscape. Discover your options in this list of the best luxury activities in Haast.

For more tips to help plan a premium trip, see The Luxury Guide to Haast.

1. Land by Remote Lakes, Fly Over Glaciers or to Milford Sound on a Helicopter Tour

Let’s start your menu of air experiences in Haast with the scenic flights of HeliServices.NZ! Offering short flights across the coast to three-hour missions to Milford Sound, HeliService.NZ features a wide array of helicopter tours to suit various timeframes. A big feature of their tours is landing in remote alpine regions of the Mt Aspiring National Park alongside alpine lakes, as well as flying over majestic glaciers, past Aoraki Mt Cook and Mt Aspiring and the list goes on. They can also get you to the remotest of hunting and fishing hotspots. We also list these experiences in the 6 Romantic Activities in Haast for Couples.

Location: Corner of State Highway 6 and Marks Road, Haast township.

7 Luxury Activities in Haast© westcoast.co.nz

2. Enjoy a Fixed-wing Scenic Flight

For an alternative air experience, join Knights Point Air for a fixed-wing scenic flight. Soar over the rainforest as you ascend over the Southern Alps with waterfalls and glaciers beneath you making their way down the mountain valleys. The return journey has you seeing your pilot’s favourites hidden alpine lakes and waterfalls on this 30-minute flight. They also offer “Kiwi Conservation Flights” where you get to join a local ranger gaining population data for kiwi conservation, as well as a scenic flight. See how the flight compares to others in the 10 Best Scenic Flights in New Zealand.

Location: Airport Lane, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Haast township.

7 Luxury Activities in Haast© westcoast.co.nz

3. Blast Up the Glacier River Valleys of the Haast River by Jet Boat

One of the most luxurious jet boat designs in the country, Haast River Safari offers a fully-enclosed jet boat so you can enjoy the magnificent scenery along the Haast River, rain or shine. Arguably, the cascades of new waterfalls and clouds weaving in and out of the mountains make a rainy day tour all-the-more jaw-dropping. The jet boat operator offers 1h30mins tours along the Glacier-formed Haast River valley to the iconic Roaring Billy Falls and back. Alternatively, check out their jet boat, helicopter and accommodation packages. See how the jet boat tour compares to others in the 17 Places to Jet Boat in New Zealand.

Location: Eastern end of the Haast River road bridge, approximately 4km (2 miles) from Haast township.

7 Luxury Activities in Haast© westcoast.co.nz

4. Delve Up the Remote Waiatoto River by Jet Boat

Offering a smaller-group jet boat tour into the Mt Aspiring National Park, Waiatoto River Safari is a journey on a river very few visitors get to experience. The 2h15mins tour has you delving into the pristine wilderness of the World Heritage Area, stopping along the way to soak in the scenery and hear stories of the area’s pioneers to today’s kiwi conservation. The experience also includes afternoon tea in one of the most remote picnic spots you’re likely to ever encounter. Find out more on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Location: 1975 Hannahs Clearing, Haast-Jackson Bay Road, approximately 22km (14 miles) from Haast township.

7 Luxury Activities in Haast© NZPocketGuide.com

5. Enjoy a Complete Helicopter Excursion with Multiple Landings

Greenstone Helicopters offers an exciting array of air experiences, from the short-and-sweet “Haast Highlights” tour to comprehensive excursions. One of our favourites of the latter is the “Glaciers, Greenstone & Grub” experience, a 2h30min tour seeing majestic scenery and Mt Aspiring itself, landing in Jackson Bay for its famous seafood and checking out giant greenstone boulders. You’ll also get to experience a landing in the alpine wilderness, as well as fly over a fantastic array of scenes including coastline, rainforest, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers and more.

Location: Airport Lane, approximately 3km (2 miles) from Haast township.

7 Luxury Activities in Haast© westcoast.co.nz

6. Do a Helicopter and Jet Boat Combo with Wilkin River Jets

At the other end of the Haast Pass, departing from the village of Makarora, Wilkin River Jets gets you on the waters of the Wilkin and Makarora Rivers. Either enjoy their hour-long jet boat ride complete with 360º spins on the ancient and shallow river systems of the Mt Aspiring National Park or opt for the “Heli-Jet Combo” including a 15-minute helicopter flight. The flight gets you flying between the snowcapped mountains and over the native forest parted by glacier-fed rivers.

Location: Rata Road, Makarora, approximately 78km (48 miles) from Haast township.

7 Luxury Activities in Haast© westcoast.co.nz

7. Fly, Hike and Jet Boat in the Wilderness with Siberia Experience

Siberia Experience encompasses all of the above, but departing from the other end of the Haast Pass in Makarora. Their signature tour of the same name takes you on a fixed-wing flight over beautiful mountains and lakes to land in a remote backcountry airstrip. There, enjoy a scenic hike across open tussock flats surrounding in mountain vistas before delving into the native rainforest. Once you get to a river clearing, take a jet boat across the crystal clear glacial waters. They also offer a similar experience to the Blue Pools of Haast, as well as jet boat rides.

Location: 5944 Haast Pass-Makarora Road, Makarora, approximately 78km (48 miles) from Haast township.

7 Luxury Activities in Haast© westcoast.co.nz

More About Luxury Activities in Haast

That’s it for the best luxury activities in Haast. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

Was this article useful?