10 Jan 2013

River tourism operators losing money

12:16 pm on 10 January 2013

Water tourism operators are losing money as heavy rainfall in the South Island turns rivers into dangerous torrents.

Jet boat companies, rafting and kayaking operations are all suspended in Queenstown, as rivers come close to record levels.

Shotover Jet Boat general manager Clark Scott said the river is close to its peak flood level set in 1999, and it's the second time this month the weather has forced the operation to close.

Jet boat activities on the Dart River near Glenorchy are also suspended.

The Dart River was flowing at 200 cumecs a few days ago and was at almost 1500 cubic metres per second on Thursday.

Rafting companies are also feeling the brunt of the high river levels, with hundreds of trips being cancelled on the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers.

Peak flows are set to subside later on Thursday and tourism operators hope to be back on the water either on Friday or Saturday.