Meet the Team
Our guides place the utmost importance on your enjoyment when touring with us. Providing knowledge, personality and experience when taking our tour, we are highly trained passionate Kiwis. We not only know how to handle a jet boat, we are knowledgable in the culture, flora, fauna and the history of our area and of New Zealand.
Wayne is originally from the North Island and grew up on a farm and near the sea. He learnt to fly an aeroplane at a very young age and had his own plane by the age of 16. Flying commercially for many years, Wayne discovered how people from all over the world were attracted to our stunning country and he was keen to find a way to showcase our remote landscape while immersing people within it. His first taste of the unique Waiatoto River came with film work from Mr Edward (Bear) Grylls. Wayne is passionate about welcoming people to an ‘off the beaten path’ experience.
Ruth grew up 2 valleys over from the Waiatoto river valley, growing up on a High Country Sheep Station where the only form of transport was plane, helicopter or boat. Handling these machines from a very young age took her through a commercial flying career for many years where she specialised teaching mature folk how to fly. Travelling extensively all over the world and in NZ, she is passionate about the naturalness of the country side and sustainable lifestyle.
Kim is the local farmer and his cattle live in the alpine meadows in the upper reaches of the Waiatoto Valley. He has lived and worked the valley for 20 plus years. His farm vehicle is a jet boat and his preferred mode of transport is his cherished
Irish Hunter horse that he uses for mustering the cattle. Kim flew aeroplanes for many years and loves meeting people from all over the world. Kim is the perfect custodian of the beautiful Waiatoto Valley land.
Founder of the Waiatoto River Safari after pioneering the river safari concept, beginning with the Dart River in the 1980’s, Neil is still very much involved the company. Neil is a World Champion Jet Boat driver and travels frequently by light plane to visit Wayne and Ruth. Flying was a passion he pursued after meeting Ruth in 2007, after she phoned him up to see if he would like to buy an aeroplane. A kinship was quickly formed, with Wayne and Ruth introducing Neil to the wonders of flying and in turn he showing Wayne and Ruth the amazing world of Jet Boating. He follows a keen interest in the business as Wayne and Ruth continue to build a first class experience, one of its kind in the World.
Always greeting clients at check-in with a smile, Aru arrived on the scene in 2015 and was going on the jet boat from the age of 6 weeks. She loves boating & the natural lifestyle that this area provides to children. Aru is the next jet boat driver in training!
Check -in assistant. New on the scene and only just a wee cat right now, Tiger Jessie is Aru’s right-hand -cat. Sometimes available for a quick pat at Check-in.
If you would like to contact us, we are here to help or you can phone 03 7500 780.