Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Dart River Jet Safaris celebrates 25 years of fun

Media Release from Dart River Jet Safaris
5 August 2013

Dart River Jet Safaris celebrates 25 years of fun and innovation

A quarter of a century of pioneering wilderness adventure on one of New Zealand’s most distinctive waterways will be celebrated by Dart River Jet , Ngai Tahu Tourism and friends later this month.

Current owners Ngai Tahu Tourism will welcome hundreds of former staff members from as far afield as Sydney, the North Island and Christchurch along with special guest founders Neil Ross and wife Robyn to celebrate the anniversary in Glenorchy on Saturday September 14.

During the day invited guests will take their families on a Wilderness Jet experience along the stunning Dart River, and later enjoy an adults-only evening of nostalgia over dinner, drinks, cake and speeches at Glenorchy Lodge.  An ‘open mic’ session will enable former staff to entertain guests with tall tales and colourful experiences of the early offerings.

Now one of New Zealand’s most spectacular jet boating experiences attracting domestic and international visitors, the business started with a single five-seater Hamilton 141a boat and the enthusiasm of local Glenorchy farmer and jet boat lover Neil Ross.

Mr Ross said those first years were built on passion, hard graft and the much-needed support of wife Robyn.

“People around Queenstown said I was completely mad when I suggested a back-country jet boat tour to friends in the tourism industry,” he said.

“There were already a number of operators on the rivers, and people said tourists were only interested in thrills as opposed to a scenic boat ride.”

Working on some basic customer research and a belief that others would enjoy the Dart scenery as much as he did, Mr Ross’ first ever Dart River Jet Safari departed on October 1, 1988 with just five passengers.

“They were blown away,” he said.

“One in particular, Rip Gray, wrote to me soon afterwards to say the tour had exceeded all expectations. With that feedback, we knew we had something special.

“It was obvious fairly quickly that people loved the combination of jet boating with accessing the beauty and remoteness of the backcountry. That unique component was and still is a real drawcard.”

One year later and the one-man van driver, jet boat operator and tour guide operation had doubled in size, taking on more staff, more vehicles, setting up in Queenstown and dropping a second boat, the Destroyer, into the water.

Dart River Jet Safaris’ was also the first operator to hire a female driver, Toni Chiddock, who Mr Ross described as being one of the best drivers in the history of the company.

In 1996, with seven boats, nine full-time and four part-time staff, three coaches and a significant annual turnover, the successful business attracted the eye of long-time jet boat operator Shotover Jet, which took over operations.

Current Dart River Jet General Manager Clark Scott said the business had grown from strength to strength, following in the determined footsteps of the Ross family. 

“Twenty-five years ago, Neil saw a gap in the market, and created a business that today remains one of Queenstown and New Zealand’s top water-based adventure tours, with international appeal,” he said.

“It’s a real honour to be here now -- what makes us most proud is that the success of the business is its full sensory and educational experience, taking in the beauty and history of the National Park and Dart River Valley from water and land.”

Dart River Wilderness Jet and Funyak trips take visitors on the region’s longest  jet boat rides into Mt Aspiring National Park, combining breathtaking scenery, exhilarating wilderness jet boating, Maori heritage and inspiring adventure.

For more information about Dart River Jet Safaris, visit www.dartriverjetsafaris.com


Click for big version.

Kiwi icon Sir Edmund Hillary (second row R) and his wife Lady June enjoy a Dart River Jet Safari on their honeymoon in December 1989

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Election Day: National Win

With almost all votes counted National and John Key have won a third term and are close to being able to govern alone if they so choose.

Key has indicated he will still reach out to form a Government with ACT, United Future and Maori Party.

With 99.6 percent of the vote counted National had 48 percent, Labour 24.6 and the Greens 10. Though special votes might change the margins it is certainly a third term victory for Key defying the political gravity which usually hits parties seeking a third term. Increasing National’s party share is a remarkable political achievement...More>>

Overall Results | Live Results | Predictions |

 


Perfectly-Timed Anniversaries: Suffrage Day Is Last Chance To Enrol

“The last chance to enrol is Friday 19 September. You can’t enrol on election day.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On First Time Voting (Greens)

For the last two days, I’ve turned my column over to a couple of guest columnists who are first time voters… Today’s guest columnist is Ana Avia-O’Connor, who will be casting her first time vote on Saturday for the Greens. More>>

ALSO:

Meddling: Aussie Liberals Embroiled In Key Campaign

John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says. More>>

ALSO:

SURVEILLANCE:

Election Ad Soundtrack: Rapper Eminem Sues National Party Over Copyright Breach

US rapper Eminem is suing the New Zealand National Party for alleged copyright infringement over unauthorised use of the rapper’s ‘Lose Yourself’ song in an election campaign advertisement. More>>

ALSO:

Big March: Call For An End To Domestic Violence

Hundreds of protesters marched down Lambton Quay to Parliament Monday calling for an end to domestic violence. Wearing white facemasks, waving banners and calling for “safety” for the women and children of New Zealand.. More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news