Ocean Rafting 20 years and still quacking!

October 27th, 2017 | | industry

Ocean Rafting celebrated 20 years of operation on Friday night at a fun filled party held at the company’s home base at Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays. Following the theme of the company’s infamous duck mascot, over 250 guests celebrated 20 “quacker” years at the milestone celebration.

Guests including industry partners, agents, suppliers, colleagues and friends joined an evening of fun, starting with a joy ride on the company’s “ducklings”, the six custom made semi-rigid inflatable vessels which operate daily to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. There were prizes galore, a full dance floor enjoying one of the Whitsundays’ favourite bands, ‘Sun Salute’, and plenty of surprises from the stafffor owners Peter and Jan Claxton, including video messages, secret guests and a tailor-made Ocean Rafting commemorative t-shirt gift.

Commenting on the evening, Jan said, “It was an amazing achievement to celebrate and an important opportunity for us to thank all of our industry partners, agents, suppliers, friends and staff. It was a huge milestone for us and a lot of hard work by everyone to get where we are today. We just couldn’t be any prouder and thank everyone for supporting Ocean Rafting over the years.”

Often asked about the secret to success, Jan Claxton said: “passion, love for the environment and region and a brilliant team, as well as focusing on visitor experience have always ensured longevity in tourism.

 So many lifestyle careers flourish from Queensland’s tourism sector and many small towns like Airlie Beach thrive on tourism dollars, but of course nothing can be taken for granted so our industry needs to keep improving, promote best practise and most importantly have a voice to protect our beautiful natural assets like the Great Barrier Reef.  Without that, there won’t be the ability to ensure another 20 years doing what Ocean Rafting loves, and that is showing visitors one of the most precious world heritage regions on earth.

 A HUGE thank you to everyone who has ever travelled with us!”


Ocean Rafting is a multi award winner, most recently winning the 2016 Australian Tourism Award for Major Tour and Transport Operator. Ocean Rafting originally began operations in 1997 and was purchased by Peter and Jan Claxton in 2001. With two vessels already in operation, Peter and Jan introduced the third vessel, ‘Thrilla’ to the fleet in September 2004 and in 2008 they expanded by incorporating another vessel, based at Cape Tribulation, for brand new sister company Ocean Safari. With the company continuing to grow, the fourth Whitsunday based vessel, ‘Thunderstruck’, arrived in December 2010, the fifth, ‘Joyride’ in March 2015 and the sixth vessel, ‘Rip Tide’, arrived ready for operations in September 2016. A seventh vessel is now on order and under construction, due for arrival early next year.

Jan continued, “We work so hard to always improve the operation and to invest in the business, and will continue to do so. It certainly helps that we operate to the beautiful and iconic Whitsunday destinations we visit on a daily basis, due to the custom made vessels we operate and the special permits we own.”

Ocean Rafting operates two exciting day tour options to some of the Whitsunday’s most desirable destinations. The Northern Exposure and Southern Lights tours include an exhilarating ride to Whitehaven Beach, pristine snorkelling at reefs and guided Whitsunday Island National Parks walks. Ocean Rafting offers the ultimate access to stunning Hill Inlet beach and special snorkel sites at Hook Island and Border Island ensure a memorable underwater experience.

For more information and reservations phone 07 4946 6848 or visit