Flying Kiwi Parasail sets the Qualmark bar sky high

There are some incredible visitor experiences on offer in Northland, including the ability to fly 1300 ft in the air with only a rope and harness between you and the ocean below. 

For the past 20 years Flying Kiwi Parasail has taken international and domestic travellers on the ride of their lives. Strapped in a tailor-made harness, customers are towed behind a Flying Kiwi Parasail boat with a canopy wing/parasail lifting them into the air.

Established by Hawai’ian ex-pat Richard De Rosa, the company has grown exponentially and together with his wife, Swedish ex-pat Julia De Rosa, has become one of the country’s leading parasail providers.  The company offers single, tandem and triple parasail flights each day for customers of all ages (its oldest customer was 101 years old).

Flying Kiwi Parasail joined the Qualmark family in 2017 and was awarded a Qualmark Silver Sustainable Tourism Business Award, delighting Julia and Richard who place considerable emphasis on sustainability and health and safety practices.

“Safety is our biggest priority.  In fact, Rich worked with Maritime New Zealand to write the health and safety rules for the parasail industry – he is passionate about industry safety.  We have procedures for everything and always ensure our gear is updated and top of the line.  I swear we have the cleanest engine room in the industry,” jokes Julia.

This attention to detail was noted in the Qualmark assessment, and Julia says the process was invaluable.

“Qualmark has opened up opportunities for us and has provided recognition that we are offering a quality product.  Our Qualmark assessor was so knowledgeable and we really felt he was there to help rather than be an ‘auditor’.  The tourism industry is a difficult sector to work in, especially for a small family-run company juggling business with young children and seasonal staff.  Being awarded Qualmark Silver status has been very affirming."

Julia De Rosa

Flying Kiwi Parasail recently added a second boat, the ‘Nauti Kiwi’ allowing the company to double its capacity.