Jetboats, bungy dampener

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Rising water wasn’t just a problem for downtown businesses – some of Queenstown’s most iconic tourism
activities were also affected. 

Shotover Jet was forced out of action from April 25-May 2 due to a swollen river, boss Clark Scott says. But the shutdown was more about comfort for customers than safety. 

“Shotover Jet is a reasonably significant player in the regional tourism scene and we lost six days – I’m not sure if many other businesses lost that much,” Scott says. 

AJ Hackett Bungy’s Kawarau Bridge site closed for the first time in years last Monday because of debris in the river below, boss Michelle Trapski confirms. 

The company has been hauling up bungy jumpers manually with a rope and pulley instead of detaching people on to a raft after their plunge. 

Water-touches aren’t allowed either. 

“With the high water levels, it creates all kinds of unknowns on that river,” Trapski says. “There’s quite a lot of debris and we need to be assured of a safe jump space. 

“Often people don’t consider the impact the floods have on the rivers,” she adds. 

Kawarau Jet co-owner Shaun Kelly says jetboat rides have been operating from the company’s Frankton Marina base instead of its main spot at the Town Pier. Customers are transported there by coach. 

“It’s very distracting trying to manoeuvre but that’s the way things happen and you’ve got to work around it as best you can,” Kelly says.