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

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news