Ultimate Queenstown

Going Full Circle

Going Full Circle

Posted by Dave Fahey: 11th Jan 2018 @ 19:44:30

As far as jobs go I’m pretty sure my list may be hard to beat – Raft Guide, Jetboat Driver, Beer Salesman, Ski Technician, Kayaker and Builder. But there is one item in the list that keeps luring me back. As I bounce between jobs, countries and rivers, the purr of a Chevy V8 in your ear and the wind rushing past your face always seems to lure me back to the river.

This summer my adventure tourism journey continues, as I join the team from Skippers Canyon Jet as a boat driver a couple of days a week.

As I sat in a boat at Deep Creek waiting for a bus of guests to arrive, I had one of those surreal moments in life. I suddenly realised that this was the very spot where it all began all those years ago.

16 years ago, I arrived in Queenstown as a sheltered trainee Raft Guide fresh out of home with a dream of travelling the world. I won’t lie, those first few years certainly brought this quiet little boy from Christchurch right out of his shell.

I was fortunate to use my trade as a river ninja to travel the world, paddling rivers, experiencing cultures, meeting new people and not letting an opportunity go to waste.

While I visited some spectacular places the lure of home, and Queenstown was always strong. Let’s be honest, if adventure tourism is your game there is no better playground than this! I may be slightly bias.

Over the years I have taken a couple of sabbaticals from tourism related work. But as hard as I have tried to “grow up” the enjoyment that I get from being outside, sitting on a river and helping create memories for people on holiday is just too hard to resist.

And so, after a stint grafting away on building sites, I now once again throw away the shackles of normality in favour of the river life.

As I sit back at Deep Creek and think back to that shaggy haired 18-year-old Raft Guide, I can’t help but think how this journey has sculpted me, how my life has evolved, but how my love for the river life is just as strong 16 years on.

This time instead of heading down stream through class 5 rapids by paddle power in an inflatable, I now head upstream through class 2 rapids in a V8 powered Jet boat.

While much has changed, much has stayed the same – I still talk just as much nonsense, my jokes have got no better, I still love to hear people scream and laugh with excitement and I still feel most at home when I’m on the water.

I now just hope that in another 16 years I can look back again and find myself doing what I love and being on the river.

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