New jetboat firm eyes Queenstown waters


A new jetboat company could soon be operating on Queenstown waterways. 

Eco Jets Limited wants to run jetboat adventures, water taxis and charters using four vessels on Lake Wakatipu, the Shotover River and Kawarau River. 

The company – owned by former Queenstown Lakes District Council boss Duncan Field, local developer Alistair Hey and Christchurch businessman Nick McMillan – filed a resource consent application to Lakes Environmental last Friday. 

Thunder Jet and Kawarau Jet already operate on the same stretch of Lake Wakatipu and the Kawarau and Shotover Rivers that Eco Jets is eyeing up. 

The application submitted by Field states four “substantially smaller boats” are proposed to be used, which will be “specifically designed to be the quietest motorised vessels operating in the Queenstown area”. 

The boats, currently being designed, will fit 15 paying punters plus a driver and a crew member. 

As part of the taxi service, the application proposes boats would ferry passengers between Queenstown Bay, the Hilton hotels at Kawarau Falls, Remarkables Park, Kelvin Heights, Frankton Marina, Jack’s Point, Walter Peak and Mount Nicholas plus other jetties from 6am to midnight. 

The boats will be shipped from a Glenda Drive address to Frankton Marina to launch each day, or two boats may be berthed at spots on the Butson/Lapsley wharf earmarked for the tourism business.