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Queenstown tourism company named among fastest-growing in New Zealand

November 8, 2013 Corporate No Comments Email Email

Queenstown tourism company Thunder Jet and Queenstown Water Taxis has been named among the top fifty fastest-growing businesses in New Zealand.

It is the only tourism business to have made the Deloitte Fast 50 index for 2013, which ranks businesses according to their revenue growth over the past three years and sets the benchmark for high growth businesses in New Zealand.

To make the 2013 Deloitte Fast 50, companies have to achieve growth of 161%. Collectively, the 2013 group of Deloitte Fast 50 businesses grew the New Zealand economy by $267 million in the past three years and created 886 jobs.

Thunder Jet was nominated for the Deloitte accolade by financial advisor Martin Hannagan of Heartland Bank. In Dunedin in September the company won the ‘Fastest growing retail & consumer product’ category and went forward to the finals.

Thunder Jet director and jet boat pioneer Neville Kelly said the Deloitte accolade recognised the hard work and dedication of the company and its staff in growing the business while providing customers with an enjoyable and memorable ‘Kiwi’ experience.

“We’re incredibly proud to have been named and recognised alongside some of the most forward-thinking and innovative businesses in New Zealand, and to have taken out an internationally-recognised award,” he said.

“To be the only tourism operator in the top 50 winners is an outstanding achievement for our company, and we couldn’t have done it without all the support we’ve been given.

“We aim to have our customers walking away feeling like they know a little bit more about New Zealand, including our hospitality, the beautiful scenery and our fun and adventurous side.

“There are plenty of tourism activities on offer in Queenstown so it takes a great deal of time and effort to build recognition of who we are and what we do, not only within the FIT consumer market but also for groups, tours and the C&I market.

“We’re always looking at ways and means of improving our services while continuing to invest back into the business.”

Within the past year Thunder Jet expanded its business with the acquisition of a high-speed, state-of-the-art twin-engine Mackraft jet boat, making it one of the newest and safest jet boats in Queenstown, if not New Zealand.

The new V8 – bring the current fleet size to three – leads the industry in terms of technology and engineering, and has also enhanced the passenger experience with a smoother, safer and more comfortable ride.

Thunder Jet was established in 2009 by internationally respected jet boat pioneer Neville Kelly, who has steered a daring course through some of the most challenging, uncharted waterways in the world.

The company prides itself on being a family-owned and operated business, with a background of more than 25 years in Queenstown’s tourism and transport industry, much of it in jet boating.

Thunder Jet’s most popular experience is the high-speed one hour adventure from either Frankton Marina or Queenstown Bay. Passengers skim down Lake Wakatipu, twisting and turning at up to 90kmh on the lake and in the clear, shallow waters of the Kawarau River.

A drawcard is the river component where passengers see untouched, inaccessible and often dramatic natural scenery with a few of the famous Thunder Jet 360-degree ‘Hamilton’ spins thrown in for good measure.

For clients who prefer a gentler cruise while getting from A to B or who simply want to tour the lake, Thunder Jet’s sister company Queenstown Water Taxis is a popular option.

With a fleet of two, the service not only runs a scheduled route between the Hilton Hotel and Kawarau Peninsula residences to downtown, but also offers shuttle services for golfers wanting to play at the Kelvin Heights course, trampers (hikers), film crews who want to explore the mountains such as Cecil Peak across Lake Wakatipu, and those who want to kayak the return trip.

For more information go to or For the full Deloitte Fast 50 index, go to

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