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Top South Island Water Sports

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128 Tours and Activities

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Free Cancellation:Get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance on most experiences.See Details

Dolphin & Whale Watching

Whale Watching in Kaikoura by Boat

Located on the eastern shores of New Zealand’s South Island, Kaikoura is famous for the spectacular array of marine wildlife living off its shores—but to see the best of it, you have to take to the waves. On this tour, cruise into Kaikoura’s deep waters by speedy catamaran with running commentary throughout from your guide, and spot dolphins, seals, and sperm whales in their natural habitat.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$96.76
From  
US$96.76
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Milford Sound Tour with Flight, Cruise and Jet Boat Adventure from Queenstown

Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most visited natural wonders and this full-day tour allows you to experience the UNESCO-listed landscapes from all angles. Soar over the mountains and lakes of the Fiordland National Park on a small-plane flight; enjoy a 2-hour cruise across Milford Sound; zip along the Dart River on a jet boat; and get close to nature on a forest hike.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$451.54
From  
US$451.54
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Jet Boats & Speed Boats

Shotover River Extreme Jet Boat Ride from Queenstown

Take a jet boat ride on the Shotover River during an extreme 25-minute ride, and make use of transport from Queenstown. Experience adrenaline-fueled fun as the jet boat skims the water’s surface at high speed and fishtails into 360-degree spins. Hold on tight as the captain maneuvers the jet boat over rapids and through narrow canyons during one heart-pounding adventure you won’t soon forget.
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  • 25 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$99.98
From  
US$99.98
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  • 25 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Jet Boats & Speed Boats

Skippers Canyon Jet Boat Tour

Enjoy two trips in one on this good-value jet boat tour: a guided tour of Skippers Canyon and a thrilling ride on the Shotover River. Zip up some of the narrowest canyons on the Upper Shotover, and learn about the gold mining history of the area from your knowledgeable guide on the journey there. This combined tour is ideal for history buffs and adrenaline seekers.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$102.56
From  
US$102.56
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Jet Boats & Speed Boats

Queenstown Jet Boat Ride on the Shotover & Kawarau Rivers

Experience heart-racing fun on an exhilarating Queenstown jet-boat ride. The expert captain races across Lake Wakatipu, navigates tricky turns on the Kawarau River and speeds through the milky waters of the Shotover River. Grab hold of your seat as the jet boat makes 360-degree spins and fishtails on a rollercoaster ride over the water.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$70.31
From  
US$70.31
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Jet Boats & Speed Boats

SPECIAL OFFER

Dart River Jet Boat Ride and Wilderness Jet from Queenstown

A jet-boat ride, a guided nature walk and a backcountry off-road tour are the highlights of this Dart River wilderness safari from Glenorchy. During this full-day tour with a naturalist guide, venture into Glenorchy, gateway to the World Heritage–listed Mt Aspiring National Park. Surrounded by awe-inspiring peaks and hidden valleys, you’ll twist and turn down the glacier-fed Dart River. Finish with a leisurely walk through an ancient forest to learn about the wildlife and the area’s original Maori inhabitants.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$150.36
US$167.07
US$16.71 savings
From  
US$150.36
US$167.07
US$16.71 savings
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Dolphin & Whale Watching

Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch

Experience the natural treasures of New Zealand on a Kaikoura whale-watching cruise. Look for impressive sperm whales along with migrating humpbacks and southern right whales, and search the waters for orcas and other dolphins as an experienced guide shares informative commentary. Visit a New Zealand fur seal colony on land, glimpse the snowy peaks of the Kaikoura Ranges and top off your full-day tour with a wine-tasting in North Canterbury. Includes optional lunch, with round-trip hotel transport from Christchurch to the picturesque town of Kaikoura.
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  • 11 hours
From  
US$199.97
From  
US$199.97
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  • 11 hours

White Water Rafting

Kawarau River Rafting from Queenstown

Shoot the grade II and III rapids on the Kawarau River with a guide on this half-day tour from Queenstown. Even beginners will feel safe and comfortable with expert supervision and instruction, as well as all provided equipment included. Take a swim through a rapid, jump off a cliff, and learn about the natural environment on this family-friendly trip that includes plenty of calm spots for splashing and floating.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$128.37
From  
US$128.37
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Helicopter Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

Epic Kepler

Explore Fiordland by Heli, Hike & Boat* Private, full or half day experience* Perfect for people looking to see and do it all in a single day* No fishing experience required, just have a goA fantastic Fiordland experience that truly does have it all. Begin with a spectacular helicopter ride to Mount Luxmore, hike the famous Kepler Track and short boat ride on Lake Te Anau.Make it truly epic: Add fishing! The only way you could make this day better is by adding the thrill of fishing. Begin your day with an exhilarating morning trout fishing on the mighty Waiau River before meeting the helicopter at midday and hiking in the afternoon. Experience Fiordland from every angle with an action-packed day of trout fishing, jet boating, hiking and a scenic helicopter flight. With this package you’ll fish and jet boat the mighty Waiau River, fly over Fiordland National Park and hike a section of the famous Kepler Track – incredible locations all right on the doorstep of Te Anau.
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$307.26
From  
US$307.26
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  • 4 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Multi-day Tours

3-Day Landsborough Rafting Tour from Queenstown

Go rafting for 3 days on through the Landsborough Valley of western New Zealand. Departing from Queenstown, travel through the Grade III-IV rapids winding through dense rain forest and past glaciers. Helicopter transfers, overnight accommodations, and meals per itinerary included.
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  • 3 days
From  
US$1,547.50
From  
US$1,547.50
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  • 3 days

Day Trips

NEW TO VIATOR

Queenstown Kawarau River Rafting and Jet Boat

Packing in those famous 360 spins and dramatic canyon walls as you discoverthe Kawarau River and its pristine wilderness. The Go Orange Jet Boat will race down the river to your next mode of transport. Jump straight into a raft with the Go Orange Rafting team to complete the last section of river, where the Jet Boats fear to go. Spend your morning or afternoon paddling through the historic Kawarau gorge, famous for its gold mining, wineries and it’s stint in The Lord of the Rings franchise.Paddle and swim your way through grade 2-3 whitewater rapids with a brand new cliff jumping section added for the adventure junkies (optional). Complete your journey by tackling the famous 400m Dog Leg rapid – the longest commercially rafted rapid in New Zealand. Then head back to Rafting Base for a hot shower.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$160.62
From  
US$160.62
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

White Water Rafting

Shotover River Rafting Trip from Queenstown

Shoot the rapids on the Shotover River on this half-day tour from Queenstown, a great choice for thrill seekers. Under the supervision of a guide, you'll brave the wild rapids, raft through the Oxenbridge Tunnel, and drop into the Cascade Rapid. Instruction and all necessary equipment (wetsuit, life jacket, spray jacket, booties, helmet) are included. Plus, a choice of morning or afternoon departure let's you fit this tour into any schedule.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$134.82
From  
US$134.82
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kid Friendly Tours & Activities

Skippers Canyon Rafting and Sightseeing Trip

Enjoy wet and wild adventure in Skippers Canyon on this 4.5-hour Queenstown rafting and sightseeing adventure. Take a scenic drive into Skippers Canyon as a guide sheds light on the region’s rich gold-mining heritage. On arrival at base, strap into your safety kit and paddle onto the Shotover River’s swirling Class I and II rapids. During your descent, tackle the river’s swirling twists and turns with a guide and enjoy sweeping views over New Zealand’s beautiful countryside. Then, finish your adventure with a swim or a rock-jump.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$128.37
From  
US$128.37
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Jet Boats & Speed Boats

Dart River 'Funyak' Canoe and Jet Boat Tour from Queenstown

This full-day adventure includes a 'funyak' (inflatable canoe) and jet boat ride on the Dart River, situated amid the untamed beauty of UNESCO-listed Mount Aspiring National Park. Travel by coach from Queenstown to Glenorchy, where you’ll speed upriver on a thrilling jet boat before climbing aboard an easy-to-handle funyak. No previous experience is necessary and you’ll paddle with several passengers in a flotilla behind your guide. Hotel pickup and drop-off plus buffet lunch and all equipment are included.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$244.48
From  
US$244.48
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Swim with Dolphins

Swimming with Wild Dolphins in Akaroa

Swim with dolphins at Akaroa Harbour, where Hector’s dolphins—found only in New Zealand—visit the waters of the Banks Peninsula. Cruising the sheltered harbor by jet-powered catamaran so you can swim up close, learn from the highly trained crew how to interact safely with the world’s smallest and rarest dolphins. Just 12 swimmers are permitted per vessel, ensuring an intimate experience in a small group. Wetsuits and masks are provided, along with a hot shower and drink on board.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$61.28
From  
US$61.28
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Jet Boats & Speed Boats

Waimak Gorge Jet Boating from Christchurch

Take a jet-boat ride on the Waimakariri River, locally known as ‘The Waimak,’ with round-trip hotel transport from Christchurch. Select whichever duration best suits your schedule: enjoy a 30-minute braided Blast on the Lower Waimak, a 30-minute Adventure tour through Waimakariri Gorge or a 1-hour Canyon Safari adventure full of thrills and spills — suitable for the whole family.
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  • 1 hour
From  
US$93.53
From  
US$93.53
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  • 1 hour

Kayaking & Canoeing

Full Day Queen Charlotte Kayak and Walking Tour from Picton

Combine sea kayaking and self-guided hiking on this full-day outdoor adventure in the Marlborough Sounds. Paddle from the Picton waterfront to the western end of Queen Charlotte Sound and search the azure waters for marine life such as eagle rays, cormorants, little blue penguins, New Zealand fur seals and dolphins. Encounter secluded beaches along the shoreline before an independent hike on the Queen Charlotte Track, from Anakiwa to Mistletoe Bay. Lunch and return transfer by water taxi are included.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$116.11
From  
US$116.11
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Swim with Dolphins

Kaikoura Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch

Be enchanted on a Kaikoura dolphin swim during a 12-hour day trip from Christchurch. Travel via the rolling hills of North Canterbury to the rugged Kaikoura coastline, a whale-watching paradise where you’ll board a sightseeing boat and dive into the Pacific Ocean with a provided wetsuit and snorkel. Swim alongside dusky dolphins in their natural habitat and learn from your guide how to encourage interaction with one of nature’s most graceful and curious sea mammals.
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  • 12 hours
From  
US$225.77
From  
US$225.77
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  • 12 hours

Hiking & Camping

NEW TO VIATOR

Jet Boat and Wilderness Walk- Winter Special

Come deep into the Matukituki Valley on the most exciting 4-hour jet boating adventure in New Zealand, beneath the spectacular scenery of Glaciers and Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film locations, into world heritage Mount Aspiring National Park. Flowing from Glaciers, the pristine waters of the Matukituki River are perfect to experience the longest and most spectacular jet boat tour in New Zealand. Travel at speed over shallow braids, drift into turns and yes… experience exciting spins, stopping in deep pools to breathe in the magic of the landscape & hear stories of our land from your local guides. Deep in the mountains, off the beaten track, enjoy a 50-minute guided walk through moss covered forest, waterfalls and glacier fed streams in an area so special you won't want to leave. For those looking for even more of an adventure then check out our new Packraft Wanaka Tripadvisor listing!!!
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$128.37
From  
US$128.37
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

Kayaking & Canoeing

NEW TO VIATOR

Kayak and Cruise Milford Sound

At the launch area in Deep Water Basin, a complete set of paddling gear is issued including thermals, fleece, paddle jacket as well as a water proof camera bag. After a comprehensive safety briefing and paddling instruction, travellers kayak from Deep Water Basin to the inner part of Milford Sound.With an experienced guide and small group of kayakers, they’ll explore the spectacular Bowen Falls. Getting up close to Sinbad Gully, the valley of New Zealand's most photographed mountain of Mitre Peak, they’ll learn about the Sinbad Sanctuary Project and the special native wildlife that make this area their home. They paddle along the shoreline to view the rainforest in beautiful detail. 2-2.5 hours of kayaking is involved in this relaxing morning paddle. Then join the Go Orange boat cruise out to the Tasman Sea and return.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$136.11
From  
US$136.11
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Other Water Sports

NEW TO VIATOR

Akaroa Dolphins | Harbour Nature Cruises

At the core, we’re a family business with our management team being 5th & 6th generation Banks Peninsula locals. Alongside our family members, we have a passionate team who are committed to you having a once-in-a-lifetime experience!We keep our passenger groups small so that you have more room to move around the boat, and enjoy your cruise without overcrowding or missing dolphin sightings due to a shortage of viewing space. Our boat has a low-lying profile which means you get closer to the wildlife!When you board our boat you’ll be offered a complimentary drink. Choose from beer, award-winning local wine or non-alcoholic options. You’ll also enjoy our famous home-baked treats made from our family recipe and served to you by our delightful onboard crew.We are committed to the conservation of our harbour's environment and wildlife. After all, it’s the centre point of our business.Please note, boarding is 15 minutes prior to departure, with check-in 30 minutes before this time.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$56.77
From  
US$56.77
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kayaking & Canoeing

Kayak Adventure from Franz Josef Glacier

Explore the serene waters of Lake Mapourika in New Zealand’s glacier country on this 3-hour kayak adventure from Franz Joseph Glacier. Paddle with your guide out onto Lake Mapourika, widely considered one of western New Zealand’s most scenic spots. Enjoy uninterrupted views as your guide explains the region’s fascinating geology, and marvel at the way the mighty Southern Alps are mirrored perfectly in the calm waters. Head into the estuaries of the Okarito Kiwi Sanctuary, and discover some of the country’s oldest untouched rainforest as native birds sing overhead.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$77.41
From  
US$77.41
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Kayaking & Canoeing

Half-Day Kayak Tour on Lake Wanaka

Kayaking on serene Lake Wanaka, with its clear waters and beautiful coastline, is a great introduction to kayaking. Beginners and those with more experience will enjoy a calm half-day tour approximately 5.5 miles (9 kms) around the lake. Take in the views while experiencing the unspoiled nature that New Zealand is famous more, but without breaking too much of a sweat.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$115.47
From  
US$115.47
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Shore Excursion: Guided Sea Kayaking through Akaroa Marine Reserve

Spend your time in port in Akaroa on a small-group shore excursion, sea kayaking around the harbor. Bask in the scenery of remote bays and inlets, and catch a glimpse of local marine life, including penguins, orcas, and endangered Hector’s dolphins. You’ll paddle for three hours with a guide through the basin of an extinct volcano and stop for a snack and swim at a coastal beach. This tour departs within walking distance of the cruise port.
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  • 3 hours
From  
US$83.86
From  
US$83.86
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  • 3 hours


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