Five Must Do Activities

Here are five activities we think you should add to your West Coast itinerary this Summer!

1. Heliservices.NZ Fox & Franz / Haast – Qualmark Silver

The Hanging Lakes Flight – Haast departure

The stunning Haast UNSECO World Heritage Area is one of New Zealand's top attractions and provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience stunning and incredible views of New Zealand’s last frontier.

The Hanging Lakes flight shows you many of the highlights of New Zealand's backcountry, with a mountain landing so you can soak up the atmosphere of this isolated region. Cascading waterfalls and hanging lakes are just some of the visual treats awaiting you on this beautiful flight through South Westland's UNESCO World Heritage Area.

3 fares required – only two people? Pay for three seats and you’ll be assured to go, subject to weather of course.

2. Waiatoto River Safari – Qualmark Silver

Embark on the only jet boat tour in New Zealand that takes you from the Ocean to the Alps within a UNESCO World Heritage Area.

Travel to the top of the river and listen as we impart our in-depth knowledge of the area. Pass over the Alpine Fault line and watch the truly dramatic scenery unfold. The laid-back, relaxed pace of this river safari allows plenty of time for photo stops, and is ideal for the less mobile, (55 years+) easy and comfortable access with an optional stroll followed by a scrumptious morning tea before a speedy, but not thrilling trip back downriver to the Tasman Sea to spot some native birds.

Eco Tours:

Waiatoto River Safari - Join us for one of the most popular tours on the West Coast of NZ, as we take you on a jet boat ride up a remote backcountry river deep into the Haast UNESCO World Heritage Area. Tour duration: 2.25 hours (allow 3 hours)

Group Jet Boat Tours - BBQ Option – Experiences are even better when shared, so invite your friends and family to an exclusive safari on the Waiatoto River, halfway between Haast and Jackson Bay. Gather a group of 6 or more and you will have the boat to yourselves for an exclusive river safari.

Exclusive Tours. Tour duration: 4 hours

Exclusive Tours - If you would like the boat to yourself, a couple, or family, we offer exclusive jet boat tours too. These include a complimentary BBQ for up to six people. If you are a larger group contact us for a personalised package. Tour duration: 4 hours

3. Underworld Adventures – Qualmark Silver

Experience one of the world’s best Glow Worm displays in a pristine and untamed natural wilderness environment. Join us on a voyage of discovery in a subterranean world that is seldom seen.

Usually the preserve of keen, skilled adventurers, Underworld Adventures has the experienced local guides and specialised equipment to share this magical world on adventures that suit families, the young and fit and even older explorers. We will take you to a place seldom seen, ancient, silent, timeless, and breathtakingly beautiful.


  • Underworld Rafting and Glow Worm Experience
  • Charleston Glow Worm Cave Adventure
  • Nile River Rainforest Train
  • Adventure Caving

4. West Coast Scenic Waterways

Relax to the birdsong tranquillity as you take in the scenery; the mirror finished lake amid ancient Rimu and Kamahi trees with the snow-capped mountains in the distance.

Enjoy freedom kayaking or a cruise aboard the Eco Adventurer. Capture the picturesque beauty of the Mahinapua waterways along the original route used by pioneers, gold diggers and early explorers. Experience majestic views of Mt.Cook and the Southern Alps and outstanding West Coast flora, fauna and native rain forests.

Eco Adventure Boat Cruise, Hokitika

Come and see the beauty of the West Coasts Lake Mahinapua, just south of Hokitika, as you cruise aboard the Eco Adventurer.

Our daily Sunset Cruise starting at 7PM might suit you – Grab a take-out dinner or a bottle of wine and enjoy the last light of the day. We also encourage you to arrange with us a time that suits your group for a cruise. Cruises aboard the Eco Adventurer are suitable for all ages.

Freedom Kayak Adventure

Hire a Kayak for a self-guided adventure. We have single person ride-on kayaks as well as tandem two person kayaks available. Hiring options range from 4 hours to 8 hours.

As a water sport, kayaking has some risks. Therefore, it is not suitable for unaccompanied children or for single adults without sufficient experience. If you are unsure if this activity is suitable for your group, please contact us to discuss it.

5. Skydive Franz & Fox – Qualmark Gold

Skydive Franz & Fox has New Zealand’s highest mountain Aoraki/Mount Cook and the biggest glaciers Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers immediately on the right and the wide blue ocean on the left. Enjoy Franz Josef skydiving amongst mountains, glaciers, lakes, rivers and ocean views. Need more proof this is the best place in the world to skydive? Check out our website gallery, the photos and videos speak for themselves.

It’s not all about the iconic scenery though, Skydive Franz Josef & Fox Glacier is New Zealand’s premier skydive company specialising in safety and fun. Although we’re a large company we only take small groups at each time slot so we can spend time with you and ensure you get an encouraging, friendly experience.

We’re one of only a few government safety approved skydive operators and are dedicated to the highest level of health and safety practices.

Epic Skydive Experiences:

18,000ft Kea Jump – Experience the thrill of NZ’s highest skydive!

  • Up to 85 seconds freefall, 30 minute scenic flight to altitude, 5-7 minute flight under canopy. Skydive above the Westland & Aoraki/Mt Cook National Parks.

16,500ft Tandem Skydive

  • Up to 70 seconds freefall, 20 minute flight to altitude, 3-5 minute flight under canopy.

13,000ft Tandem Skydive

  • Up to 45 seconds freefall, 15 minute flight to altitude, 3-5 minute flight under canopy.

10,000ft Tandem Skydive

  • Up to 30 seconds free fall, 10 minute flight to altitude, 3-5 minute flight under canopy.