Moreton Bay Jet Ski owner Ken Jeffreys has his eye on making a Pumicestone Passage jet ski tour adventure a Best of Queensland experience, and convincing more of us that winter is the best season to enjoy it.
The business, based at Bribie Island, was recently awarded a $10,000 State Government Adaptation Grant, which Ken says he’ll use to improve his business and achieve the Best of Queensland experience rating.
He’ll do this by increasing business turnover, boosting social media engagement and reviews, and hitting other benchmarks.
“All of those things that make it a Best of Queensland experience. We’re hoping we’ll not only hit them, but smash them,” Ken says.
“The more of these (experiences) in the region, the better for everyone.”
It’s a rating he’s already achieved for his other business Caloundra Jet Ski, which he and wife Julie Pellas started about seven years ago.
They’ve been running Moreton Bay Jet Ski for about four years, offering educational jet ski adventures on pristine Pumicestone Passage.
Hit the water in winter
“I’m not sure how I’ll ever convince Queenslanders of this, but the best time to be on Pumicestone Passage is in the middle of winter. There’s no wind, it’s calm as and reasonably warm if you have a wet suit. And there’s not many people on the water,” Ken says.
With the whale migration season, also comes an increase in the numbers of dolphins and turtles in Pumicestone Passage, so there’s plenty to see.
About 80 per cent of the passage is less than 2m deep and because there’s no ‘draw’ from jet skis, they can cover shallow water easily.
Ken says there’s less wake than boats and an absence of a propeller means marine animals are not at risk of boat strike injuries associated with other watercraft.
He says having an eco adventure doesn’t mean you have to sit on a bus and listen to commentary – you can hit the water and have fun at the same time.
“You can have the trill of a jet ski ride, with education about Pumicestone Passage,” he explains.
Looking beyond tough times
The COVID-19 shutdown earlier this year, took its toll but Ken is already looking ahead.
“It’s obviously not good when you’re closing down for 41 days with no income but we’re not orphans in this, everyone’s in the same boat,” he says.
“I think the Moreton Bay Tough campaign has worked. I got to know more businesspeople throughout the region than I had in four years’ of operation.
“The negative is we have been growing each year for four years and this is the first year we’ll have a decline. The upside is we’re going to survive it and work through it, particularly thanks to the state and federal governments.
“When we shut down, we appreciated the help of our landlord. Spinnaker Sound Marina have been very understanding - they’re not exempt from the pain - but they helped us through it.”
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