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

Joint Statement: Establishment Of NZ-China Strategic Partnership

At the invitation of Governor-General Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae and Prime Minister The Rt Hon John Key of New Zealand, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China made a state visit to New Zealand from 19 to 21 November 2014.

During his visit, President Xi Jinping met with Governor-General Jerry Mateparae, and held talks with Prime Minister John Key. The leaders had an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Savings Targets: Health Procurement Plan Changes Direction

Next steps in implementing DHB shared services programme Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says the Government has agreed to explore a proposal put forward by DHBs to move implementation of the shared services programme to a DHB-owned vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

More on Health Policy:

Auckland Unification: 'No IT Cost Blowout' (Just More Expensive)

Following discussion of an update on Auckland Council’s Information Services Transformational Programme at today’s Finance and Performance Committee, council has released the report publicly. More>>

ALSO:

Other Expensive Things:

Gordon Campbell: On The SAS Role Against Islamic State, And Podemos

Only 25% of the US bombing runs are even managing to locate IS targets worth bombing. As the NYT explains at length, this underlines the need for better on-the-ground intelligence to direct the air campaign to where the bad guys have holed up... More>>

ALSO:

Public Service: Commission Calls For Answers On Handling Of CERA Harassment

EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On Andrew Little’s Victory

So Andrew Little has won the leadership – by the narrowest possible margin – from Grant Robertson, and has already been depicted by commentators as being simultaneously (a) the creature of the trade unions and (b) the most centrist of the four candidates, which would be an interesting trick to see someone try in a game of Twister. More>>

ALSO:

China President Wishlists: Greens Welcome Xi, But Human Rights Need To Be On Agenda

“President Xi has made some progress on climate change, but he must also lift the Chinese government’s game on human rights issues,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said... It is important that our Government continues to urge the Chinese government to show restraint and respect human rights in both Tibet and the Xinjiang province.” More>>

ALSO:

Airport Security Breach: CAA Fines Minister

Minister Brownlee has been issued an infringement notice and is required to pay a $2000 infringement fine for breaching Civil Aviation Rule 19.357(b), which states no person may be in an airport security area without an appropriate identity card or document. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news