Skip to content

Why Us?

Not 'just another bloody jet boat ride'


We are taking tourism back to what it once was...

With small groups of 11-13 per boat, our tours are all about making a personal connection with each one of our guests. This is an interactive tour – not just a thrill ride – that gives guests a truly unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the magic of Fiordland. For Kiwis, jet boating is about more than just high speeds and spins – although of course we do that too! Jet boating is also about connecting with those around you, laughing, and discovering someplace new.

We are family owned and operated, by two local Kiwi families, well-established in the farming and rock lobster fishing industries so important to the area, but new to tourism. Guests of Fiordland Jet can expect to feel like one of the team – not just another ticket to punch. We want to get to know our guests and let them get to know a bit about us!

We are the only scenic operators on the Upper Waiau River, which allows guests to experience the solitude and serenity of Fiordland as early explorers would have – without crowds or lines – but with the added excitement of one of NZ’s most ingenious inventions: the jet boat.

With a fresh, eco-friendly and authentically Kiwi approach to adventure, our team of local guides aim to show off the best of our backyard – a remote, untouched paradise steeped in natural beauty and rich in history.

What we do different

It’s all about YOU!

We allow plenty of time for guests to get prepared both at our office (put on extra sunscreen or warm coats) and at the boat ramp (get situated and settle in next to their traveling companions) without feeling rushed. Your guests are our guests, and we will treat them as such!

Guests should expect all the innate fun a jet boat has to offer, including 360 degree spins; however, our aim is to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable – not to scare. Thus, spins start slow as guests build their confidence and learn to hang on before getting faster as the tour progresses.

If for any reason we have a guest who is not comfortable with the spins, we will stop performing them for the remainder of the tour – though carry-on otherwise as normal. At the conclusion of the tour, we allow that guest to disembark at the boat ramp and take the rest of the group back out for a few minutes to do as many spins as they can handle! Luckily, this scenario has only happened twice in the last four years, as we find nearly everyone ends up enjoying the spins – even after they insisted they wouldn’t.

Meet the Team

Director & General Manager

Chris Adams

Chris is a local Southland farmer who has a dairy, beef and sheep farm just south of Te Anau, and so has spent loads of time in Fiordland, which he now considers his backyard. Holidays and weekends were often spent on the waters of Te Anau, where he enjoyed time with friends, family and especially his three, now grown, children: Rebecca, Nicole & Matt (pictured). Most days included water skiing, boating, fishing and of course a cold beer at the end of a long, hot summer day.

Chris is not only a director, but also General Manager, so you’ll often find him outside the Fiordland Jet Office selling unexpecting passerby’s the best tour of their lives, as well as driving tours himself.

When Fiordland Jet began he planned on being a silent partner, but for anyone that’s met him, you know just how ridiculous of an idea it is for him to be ‘silent.’ Chris loves getting to meet so many new people and always enjoys a chat to learn about the people he meets and the places they come from – just as he enjoys doing when he travels. He’s also the personal bank behind our 100% Money Back Guarantee – which shows just how much he believes in this product and the FJet team.


Jerry & Keli Excell

Jerry spent all his childhood holidays on lake Te Anau and now has a holiday home of his own here. His love for the area is infectious and he knows the area better than most thanks to over 25 years as a commercial lobster fisherman operating out of Doubtful Sound. Jerry spent 10 years as a Fiordland Marine Guardian – a government appointed position to maintain and protect the Fiordland Marine area for its users. He has participated in fisheries research and management to work towards sustainable fishing practices in Fiordland.

He has spent countless hours fishing, diving, water skiing and jet boating around Fiordland with his wife, Kelli and their two children; Holly and Jake.

Jerry’s enthusiasm for jet boating is genetic, and he has been a safety boat for Jet Boat Racing New Zealand for over 15years, which lends itself to making sure our boats are well looked after and includes a keen knack for helping with repairs and maintenance. Although you may not seem around the office, he is an integral part to the FJet team and the dynamic duo of co-directors.

The 'Boss'

Abby Rankl

Our token American and self proclaimed ‘Original FJet Team Member’ – came to New Zealand in 2017 to travel for just 2 months – she still hasn’t left – and we just can’t seem to get rid of her! Like most people, Abby fell in love with Fiordland and especially the people of Southland. Although tourism was a completely new venture for her, she’s loved welcoming visitors and showing them the same kindness and hospitality she enjoyed while traveling.

Abby does a bit of everything – from sales and marketing, to driving the bus and boats – we think she’s the only female-American with a NZ Commercial Jet Boat Licence. Most of her time is spent managing the things Chris has said ‘yes’ to, as well as the list of ideas he comes up with while bored on a tractor! A psychology degree certainly lends itself to managing the many personalities that work through the door – and we don’t just mean the guests 😉

On days off, you’ll find her out exploring Fiordland as she discovers even more to love about this amazing area. She’s even become a bit of a farmer herself as she often helps out on the farm during slow periods – a career path she (and especially her parents) never expected!

Office Executive

Lindy Obrien

Lindy is our token, self proclaimed gypsy that has lived a life most people could only dream of, Lindy had lived and worked in England, America and even did a summer season in Antarctica. A former pastry chef, she has travelled the WORLD catering on tours for some of the worlds biggest superstars (we’re talking Madonna, Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones just to name a few)

Lucky for us, she’s kicked off her new life here in Te Anau, where she holds down the fort most days and keeps the place tidy, Lindy also takes our guests to meet the boats at the river and is hoping to get her jetboat licence one day ! Her upbeat, positive attitude and constant smile is an absolute asset to the team, as well as her OCD and affection for cleaning 😉


John Lapsley

John is a Te Anau local who’s family has deep roots in the area. He has travelled extensively with stories from around the world that may seem hard to believe, but why let the truth get in the way of a good story ;-). His vast array of knowledge on the area and it’s history leaves each guest feeling like they’ve really had a chance to get to know Fiordland!

Besides being a top-notch jet boat driver, he also is our resident handy-man – tasked with the weirdest of repairs around the office. On his days off you’ll often find him out chopping fire wood to make sure he keeps his partner Jan warm, and happy!


Lex Mouat

Lex has been boating the Waiau River longer than most of us have been alive – well not quite, but he does know this area better than the back of his hand! He and his wife reside in Manapouri and are lucky to have the stunning back drop of Fiordland National Park as the view from their front yard.

Lex operated his own jet boat business for over 15 years before retiring – although his retirement plan hasn’t gone exactly as he planned since he still does a heap of driving for us! He’s also the reason behind our beautifully maintained boats and an instructor for our new drivers.

He’s a keen fisherman, keeps us all on our toes, and all round top notch gentleman. With his vast knowledge of Fiordland and smooth handling of the boat, he’s sure to give his passengers an unforgettable experience complete with smiles galore!


Nic Chamberlain

Nic is Southland born and bred, as he grew up on a farm not far from Te Anau and has spent many holidays and weekends boating in the area with family and friends.

He’s a bit of a master ‘driver’ – jet boats for us in the summer, snow groomers in the winter, and trucks/tractors in the season between. He’s our resident researcher with heaps of knowledge about the native flora & fauna of Fiordland he keeps the team updated with the latest facts, figures and totally random (some times useless) tidbits! On top of all that, he also has a pilot licence and is developing his very own App!

Although Nic is only with us for part of the year – he’s eager to hop on a big plane and head overseas – he brings a one-of-a-kind sense of humour to the team that’s sure to leave guests with a smile.


Rebecca Adams

Rebecca has been driving jet boats for as long as she could see over the wheel – and was the youngest female to ever get their commercial license! She’s always on the go whether it’s water skiing, playing netball and rugby or swimming, you’ll find her spending all her spare time being active – which also results in injury more often than we’d like to admit.

Rebecca is currently based in Christchurch to study criminal justice at the University of Canterbury, but will be back with us during breaks to guide trips.

As a born and raised Southlander, she knows the area well and is keen to share her love of Fiordland with others. Don’t let that sweet smile fool ya, she knows how to go flat out to ensure all her passengers have FUN!

What do people say about us

"We had the best family experience ever!"

"Amazing experience with friendly staff."

"Amazing! An absolute must do if visiting Te Anau."

Book Your Experience Now