Date: 29 May 2013
The Department of Conservation has renewed a concession with Dart River Jet Safaris Limited to undertake guided jet boat trips into Mount Aspiring National Park.
Jet boats enter the park on the Dart River/Te Awa Whakatipu near Sandy Bluff and at the bottom of the Beansburn and Rockburn side valleys. Passenger transfers take place at the Chinamans Bluff roadend as well as short guided walks here and in the Beansburn.
The renewed concession is for a term of 20 years.
Greg Lind, DOC Area Manager in the Wakatipu says “the Dart River Jet experience is a world class experience with an emphasis on interpreting the conservation values of Mount Aspiring National Park to their customers. As such we are very pleased to see the Dart River Jet Safaris operation continue”.
Ten submissions were received, all opposing renewing the concession. Opposition centred around the effects of jet boat wake at Kinloch and the river banks of the Dart generally. Only effects occurring to public conservation lands were able to be considered. Expert advice determined that the effects of jet boat wake to park values are not significant compared to the effects of periodic natural flood events.
The 2011 Mount Aspiring National Park Management Plan has specific conditions regarding the number of people able to be guided per day and the hours of operation. These are reflected in the conditions of renewal.
Mr Lind goes on “outside of the concession and as part of an ongoing relationship Dart River Jet Safaris have installed new public toilets in both the Beansburn and the Rockburn”
Callan Grimmer, Operations Manager for DRJS says “we are very pleased with this outcome. It gives us the certainty to develop our products while recognising the shared use of the Dart for jet boats and other visitors”
John Roberts, Programme Manager Community Relations, Wakatipu Area Office, +64 3 4424371