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Rafting resumes and Queenstown adventure tourism company Kawarau Jet launches new look

News from the Shotover River - 22/09/08


From early in July a huge mass of rock loosened from the bank of the Shotover River was poised ready to fall.

The fall of the rock could possibly endanger people in quite a wide area. This meant that for safety reasons a number of tracks were temporarily closed. The Shotover River between Deep Creek and the Oxenbridge tunnel, tracks providing access to the Shotover River through the Morning Star Recreation Reserve and the Shotover Creek Conservation Area, the Oxenbridge Tunnel Reserve, the Moonlight Track between Arthurs Point to Moke Lake were closed until further notice.

Engineers worked to force the slip for more than a week, by running a large quantity of water through it. The Queenstown Volunteer Fire Brigade used high-pressure hoses to moisten and loosen the slip and 30,000 tonnes of rock slid down the hillside.

At a meeting on Tuesday August 26 between Queenstown Rafting and the Queenstown Lakes District Council, it was agreed that rafting could resume on the Shotover River after the major slip near the river's edge finally fell on August 22. It was seven weeks since operations had ceased and rafting would resume on August 27.

In a press release from Kawarau Jet Bronwyn Thomas announced the jet boat operation's new look,

The world's first commercial Jet boat operation and pioneering Queenstown adventure tourism company Kawarau Jet launched a fresh new look as it builds towards its 50th anniversary celebrations.

Kawarau Jet's refreshed brand identity features a modernised and sharp logo in the company's signature yellow and red colour palate and some superb new images capturing the excitement and beauty of the iconic Shotover and Kawarau River Jet boat trip.

Kawarau Jet Kawarau Jet
Click on the image to view a larger version
Kawarau Jet Kawarau Jet
Click on the image to view a larger version
Photos supplied by Kawarau Jet

The new logo will be rolled out across all collateral in the coming months, including a new brochure, website and poster campaign.

Kawarau Jet's Jet boat rides first delivered high speed thrills to visitors in the summer of 1959/60 when Invercargill's Melhop brothers offered rides on their Hamilton Jet to tourists as a fundraising venture for the Lakeland Christian Camp.

Director Andrew Brinsley said it's fascinating to look at how the company and its identity have evolved as it has grown over the past 48 years.

"The brand refresh comes in the build up towards the celebration of Kawarau Jet's 50th anniversary in November 2009. As always we remain focused on delivering the unforgettable Jet boat experience that fuels our reputation while evolving how we look and operate and always remembering our history and people."

"We're gearing up to celebrate the longevity, experience and capability of one of Queenstown's first adventure activities when we turn 50. It's a huge milestone and a refreshed and relevant identity is just one aspect of our preparations."

In contrast to the original Jet boat from the ‘60s, which the company still owns and displays, today's boats include state-of-the-art comforts, twin engine technology, heated seats, heated handrails and gold standard safety features – improvements developed by Kawarau Jet's race and R&D department.

Promising a 43 kilometre, ‘one hour of power' water adventure, Kawarau Jet negotiates the fast moving currents of the braided Shotover River, deep green waters of the Kawarau River and crystal clear Lake Wakatipu.

About Kawarau Jet
Kawarau Jet is not only Queenstown's first and most experienced commercial Jet boat company but also the world's longest established commercial Jet boat operation.

The concept of an exciting, fun, and scenic lake and river trip was developed in the late 1950's and established at its current location on Queenstown's Main Town Pier in 1960, just seven years after the development of the first Jet boat unit.

The company has become well known for innovation and the introduction of many safety features, many of which have since become industry benchmarks.

In 1990 it established the first roll bar system to be used in commercial Jet boats, which is now standard across the industry and in 1995 it developed the twin engine technology which again is now standard in commercial Jet boats.