On a recent road-trip, my two friends and I were given the opportunity to take a ride on Queenstown's first ever adventure activity – the KJet.
Over 60 years ago, in 1958, with two brothers at the helm, Kawarau Jet Services was born. At 5 shillings a ride the brothers found that demand was high from the holiday makers staying at the local Christian Camp wanting to navigate the Kawarau Falls Dam by jet-boat. They soon convinced the Lakeland Christian Camp Trust to invest in the operation by purchasing its own Hamilton Jet. The trustees agreed and Queenstown’s most successful and enduring tourism operation was born. And to this day is still 100% kiwi – locally owned and operated.
The KJet website describes their jet-boating as …
… insane 60 minute high speed jet boating across three waterways traveling at speeds of up to 95kph (in water less than 5cm deep in some places). Only KJet offers 45km of unforgettable thrills, spins and exhilaration in one of the world’s most stunning locations, across Lake Wakatipu and down the world-famous Shotover and Kawarau Rivers.
… and I can confirm that it doesn’t disappoint!
However, for us this was definitely more than just a jet boat ride. At an hour in total, you get longer on the KJet than with their competitors. Yes, it was high speed, and yes there were moments of closing my eyes tight and screaming, but I also got to enjoy the scenery of not one, but two rivers and hear about the history of Queenstown, the rivers, Lake Wakitipu, the gold mining history
and the local geography from our lovely driver, George (who I felt in safe hands with knowing how much training KJet give their drivers). Even though I thought I may wet myself at times, I would actually feel very confident taking my five year old daughter with me next time we visit Queenstown (luckily there are no height restrictions).
Another thing I liked about KJet is how accessible it is. No driving through Queenstown traffic to get to the boat – it’s right on the lake front in the heart of town, next to all the lovely café’s – perfect location to have a cuppa and relax once you’ve had a look around Queenstown’s Underwater Observatory (which you get free entry into with your KJet ticket).
Another reason to love KJet – they have recently signed up to the Tourism Sustainability Commitment, joining the fast-growing group of tourism operators who are working to make a positive difference. The aim of the TSC is to see every New Zealand tourism business committed to sustainability by 2025 to protect and enhance the environment on which tourism businesses depend.
In November 2018 KJet was awarded Qualmark Gold. A Gold award recognises the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand, with the delivery of exceptional customer experiences an integral part of everything they do. A Gold Sustainable Tourism Award identifies businesses that are leading the way in making the New Zealand tourism industry a world-class sustainable visitor destination. For more information on KJet’s commitment to sustainable tourism please click here.
In conclusion, KJet really did live up to expectations. It was an hour of pure adrenaline, stunning scenery and lots and lots of laughter! For more information take a look at their website here – there are lots of great family deals and combo deals to be had.
To see the full video of our time on the Kjet check out our Facebook page here.