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About Us & Meet the Team

About K-Jet

It all started in 1953 when Sir William Hamilton invented the world renowned Hamilton Jet. Soon after, in the summer of 1960, Kawarau Jet was born in Queenstown, becoming the world’s first commercial Jet Boat operation. For over 40 years these boats have provided holidaymakers from all around the world with the opportunity to experience the exhilaration of Jet boating. 

With such a successful history it was decided to bring the same experience to the North Island’s cultural, adventure capital, Rotorua, which is owned and operated by Ross and Fiona Kelly. 

Kjet Rotorua runs three purpose built jet boats; Kjet3 surveyed for 11 people running a 383 Chev, Kjet4 surveyed for 18 people running a 502 big block Chev and Kjet5 surveyed for 28 people running twin 350 Chevs. For the last five years the business has also been using high octane biofuel containing 10% bioethanol, running the tried and trusted Hamilton 212 jet units.

In 2010, Kjet Parasailing, was launched, giving customers the chance to be flown up to 400ft in the air above the lake. A purpose built 25 foot Parasailing boat was brought over from Australia. This boat is powered by two 150 horse power Yamaha Four Stroke engines. It can carry up to 10 passengers, and is operated by a captain and parasailing instructor. 

A NZ standards Qualmark endorsed activity, Kjet Rotorua combines the cultural aspects of the area with the speed and world famous Hamilton Spins. But this is just the beginning. With an endless range of combo's and activities, Kawarau Jet Rotorua and Kjet Parasailing will be a hard act to follow.
Kawarau Jetboat 

Our Team

Our drivers and Parasailing Instructors go through a rigorous training programme to acquire a nationally recognised Local Launch Operator (LLO) certification or Commercial Jet Boat Drivers License, awarded by Maritime New Zealand. They must adhere to strict guidelines and parameters to ensure the safety of our passengers and our operation. Jetty and office staff members are fluent with every part of the business and are individually capable of handling any situations and enquiries.

Ross Kelly (The Hoff) – Managing Director and Operations Manager

Ross is the companies Head Driver and is the holder of a Local Launch Operator License (LLO). He is responsible for all driver training, safety and maintenance of the boats and equipment. Ross ensures the boys remain focussed, believes that potatoes are the food of the gods and doesn't own a pair of shorts.
Fiona Kelly – Managing Director & Account Manager (THE
Fiona is usually one of the first faces to greet you at the office and is well known as the babysitter of peoples dogs and children. She is responsible for the smooth running of the business, key account management and keeping the lads in line. She can blend anything into a healthy smoothie, talks to animals and loves ABBA.  
Tony (Soprano) Brooks - Full Time Driver and Parasailing Instructor

Tony was also born and bred in the South and has extensive marine experience across surf, lake and rivers. He is the holder of a Commercial Jet Boat Drivers Licence and is also responsible for our National and Domestic Sales and Marketing. Tony is one of our most popular drivers with his tours and local tales leaving you wanting more. He claims he's not going bald and blames the speed of the boats for blowing the hair off his head.      
Nick Kelly (Pickle) - Full Time Driver
 and Parasailing Instructor
Nick was born in a Jet Boat and hails from the deep south. He is the holder of a Local Launch Operator Licence (LLO) and knows the lakes like the inside of his right hand. Nick loves Pina Coladas, getting caught in the rain and thinks Line Dancing should be an Olympic sport. As one of the companies top drivers Nick will always ensure your trip is an unforgettable experience.   

 Johnny (The Smoking Gun) Zhang - Full Time Driver and Parasailing Instructor

John is New Zealand's first Chinese Commercial Jet Boat Driver. Raised in the bustling capital of Beijing Johnny now calls NZ home. He is a demon on the karaoke, loves disco and his mums dumplings. John deals with all things Chinese and looks after our Sales and Marketing for this sector. You will find him hanging off the back of the Parasailing Boat, swimming after the boat or brewing a fresh batch of Chinese tea.  

All staff undergo regular training, safety drills and performance assessment to ensure they meet the very high standards required of Commercial Jet Boat Operators.   


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