Rotorua: Feeling the big squeeze.
Rotorua is not a town to rest on its laurels and new activities have sprung out of its rich geology and adventurous people.
I drive out towards Taupo and pull over next to the banks of the Waikato River. One of the best ways to enjoy the region's scenery is from the water, and the latest craze is called The Squeeze - a cocktail of adrenaline, adventure and utter relaxation. It's a three-hour round trip in a super speedy Bond-style jetboat. We head downstream at a leisurely pace, gliding through the emerald waters of Tutukau Gorge and past the Orakei Korako geothermal park. Our skipper, Dave Hooton, steers away from the main stretch of river and guides the boat into a narrow creek. It's time to strip off and let The Squeeze begin.
Wearing swimsuits and dry tops, we wade through chest-deep luke warm water towards a gap in the moss-covered cliff, known locally as "The Cut". We literally squeeze through, then for the next 20 minutes clamber over boulders, manouevre through crevasses and negotiate stones and logs blocking our path. Then, tucked behind rocks, we see our destination - the most gorgeous waterfall crashing into a pool of warm water. I lower my head and let it pummel my shoulders, before sitting back and peering through a curtain of white water.
My natural spa leaves me droopy-eyed, but I'm jolted awake on the ride back to base. Dave hits the accelerator and the jetboat skims along the surface, narrowly missing overhanging branches and floating debris. There are some white-knuckle moments as we spin full circle, showering spray everywhere. I'm energised as I drive to my next stop on the other side of Rotorua. (Extract of article by Anna Jones, The New Zealand Herald, 2 October 2010)
New Zealand Riverjet powers ahead in awards final.
Delivering an affordable and enjoyable product to customers has helped launch a Rotorua river jet business into the limelight.
New Zealand Riverjet is a national finalist in the 2010 Tourism Industry Awards, much to the delight of owner Nick Berryman. “It’s wicked,” he said. “We just continue to put out a good product.” The success of the six-year-old business continued to astound him, Mr Berryman said.
He and wife Richelle also own Lakes Lodge Okataina and Action New Zealand.
For the past three years, New Zealand Riverjet has been voted number one tourist attraction on websites www.tripadvisor.com and www.rankers.com. Mr Berryman said the positive comments were a result of staff producing a fun-packed, affordable experience. “It’s clearly stated on our websites that our attraction is fun and exciting and value for money. Whether they are spending $10 or $500, that money has to represent good value for the customer. It’s about delivering a product that meets the clients’ demands.”
The 2010 Tourism Industry Awards will be held in Auckland on October 14. Other Central North Island regional finalists are Katikati Naturalist Park and Te Kahui Tupua: Sacred Peaks. (By Cherie Taylor, The Daily Post, 14 August 2010)
The Squeeze Pleases
Since its launch in 2008, The Squeeze with New Zealand Riverjet has continued to please its many participants.
Comments about The Squeeze and New Zealand Riverjet in general - such as ‘I’ve never experienced anything like it‘, ‘the best thing to do in Rotorua’ and ‘way exceeded my expectations’ - have placed New Zealand Riverjet as the number one Rotorua attraction with both Rankers and Trip Advisor.
"Geothermal with a twist", is how Nick Berryman, Managing Director of New Zealand Riverjet describes The Squeeze. This unbelievably unique and truly New Zealand experience, combines scenic magnificence and twists and spins of New Zealand Riverjet jetboating, with wading and squeezing through the crevasses of a thermal stream to a waterfall-fed hot pool.
Scenic jetboating on the mighty Waikato River starts The Squeeze escapade - through farmland, forest, and the 50 metre high Tutukau Gorge, and past trout feeding areas and steaming volcanic river banks - all accompanied by an insightful driver-guide commentary. Then into thermal water for some wading and squeezing to reach a natural hot pool, before an action packed thrill ride on the return.
Success with The Squeeze and other New Zealand Riverjet jetboating-geothermal combinations, follows on from Nick and Richelle Berryman’s establishment over 15 years ago of Action New Zealand - now a leader in corporate entertainment www.action-nz.co.nz . And working on the same pattern for success, Nick and Richelle have recently added Lakes Lodge Okataina in Rotorua to their tourism and conferencing portfolio. Set amongst 4,500 hectares of native bush on the shore of pristine Lake Okataina, and with no other lake buildings, visitors and conference delegates enjoy almost total seclusion in this world class setting - all only 18 minutes from Rotorua International Airport www.lakeslodge.co.nz . (Article from www.newzealand.com, 31 May 2010)
E-update February 2010
E-update September 2009
E-update July 2009
New Zealand Riverjet is proving to be a hit.
New Zealand Riverjet has had the biggest January in its history with a 500% increase compared to January 2006. The incredible growth is looking to continue into February as forward numbers are looking positive. “We believe that this is a combination of a solid sales and marketing strategy and an emergence of an increase in the domestic market to the region” says Managing Director Nick Berryman.
The combination of jet boating and the geothermal of Orakei Korako have bought together a Riverjet adventure that introduces tourists to a slice of New Zealand scenery only a select few have seen and the emergence of the New Zealand Riverjet Thermal Safari.Based between Taupo and Rotorua, the New Zealand Riverjet offers a complete package which includes a journey down the mighty Waikato River (the country’s longest river) and takes clients to the surreal geothermal area of Orakei Korako – described by the world-renowned Lonely Planet Guide as “possibly the best thermal area left in New Zealand”.
New Zealand Riverjet Roadside Base Opens
On Friday the 22nd December 2006, the New Zealand Riverjet base became operational from its new site on the Thermal Explorer Highway (State Highway Five) between Rotorua and Taupo. The installation of the jetty on Wednesday 20th December 2006 completed the transformation of an overgrown grassland to a location that now has ample car parking, a modern, purpose built building, video's of the trip ahead, all accompanied by a full time team to meet and greet guests seven days a week.
‘The roadside site has given Riverjet great exposure on a main highway as well as providing better accessibility for tours and campervans’ says Managing Director Nick Berryman.
New Zealand Riverjet is emerging as one of the largest Jet boat/Safari experiences in the North Island. “We have been overwhelmed with the feedback and the growth we have been experiencing and the investment in the new base is our way of keeping up with the demands of the market” says Nick. Based between Taupo and Rotorua, the New Zealand Riverjet offers a complete package which includes a journey down the mighty Waikato River (the country’s longest river) and takes clients to the surreal geothermal area of Orakei Korako – described by the world-renowned Lonely Planet Guide as “possibly the best thermal area left in New Zealand”.