Dave and Ange Kilmister weren’t too sure where they were going to settle when they returned to New Zealand from the UK.
It was their car that had the casting vote, it broke down, and the couple hasn’t looked back since.
“We thought we would drive around the country and find a nice place [to settle] but our car broke down here in Taupo, so while we were here, we looked in the paper and saw some jobs come up, one of them was a jet-boat driver/mechanic,” Dave said.
The position took his fancy, and fortunately for him, he got the green light – it was this that cemented the pair’s decision to call Taupo home.
Not long after that the Kilmisters took over the local riverboat outfit – Huka Falls River Cruise.
“I always sort of wanted to do something for myself and the riverboat wasn’t really being run to its capacity, so we took it on, and we’ve grown it consistently since,” added Dave.
Having grown up on a rural farm, Dave admitted he had always enjoyed spending time outdoors and he enjoyed being in the tourism sector.
“We get different people every day and everyone’s on holiday, so it’s always a great experience.”
With three daughters and Ange part of the cruise team, the Huka Falls cruise ventures along the Waikato River, taking in the Aratiatia Dam & Rapids, and of course, the Huka Falls – the most visited natural attraction in New Zealand.
The Waikato River narrows from 100 metres wide to just 15 metres wide as it squeezes through a volcanic canyon, it’s the pressure that causes the water to burst out of the gorge with such force that it forms the incredibly popular landmark.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has reduced their international tourist numbers considerably, but the Kilmisters are hopeful that the stabilisation of the Trans-Tasman border bubble will increase the number of visitors from Australia.
In the meantime, Dave is reliant on the domestic market. In April the business joined Qoin and they’ve been offering it as a payment method since.
“We’re going into our quiet season now, but I’ve had about a handful of payments on Qoin, and I’ve probably had about that many inquiries going forward over the next month or so,” Dave told me.
“We’ve got about 25 merchants on Qoin in Taupo at the moment, I know Laura at the Mole and Chicken Restaurant and Bar down the road takes it, and she’s starting to get more, and the local bike shop, Top Gear Cycles is also taking it.”
When out on the river, Dave enjoys actively speaking to his Qoin customers, engaging them about their plans in the area and advising them on where else they can spend their digital currency.
“As for ourselves, things like printing would be good for us to spend our Qoin on, or parts for the boat,” he added, saying that he was looking forward to Qoin’s expansion globally over the coming year.
For more on Huka Falls River Cruise head to their website or look them up in the Qoin directory.