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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Southern Discoveries launches high-speed catamaran tour and nature experience

 Premier South Island tourism company Southern Discoveries is continuing to invest in its tourism operation, launching a multi-million dollar catamaran and nature experience on Lake Wakatipu.

The purpose-built 26m high-speed catamaran, to be known as Spirit of Queenstown, will launch for the start of the 2013/14 summer season.

She will carry up to 150 passengers from Queenstown across the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu to the normally A concept image of the new Southern Discoveries Spirit of Queenstown catamaran on Lake Wakatipuinaccessible Mt Nicholas Station for an authentic and nature-based experience.

The activity will include a high-speed boat trip across Lake Wakatipu with land based activities at the high country station.  Mt Nicholas offers uninterrupted views to Mt Earnslaw and up the lake to Glenorchy, as well as rolling hills, hidden valleys and lakes and the opportunity to see a working high country station.

Activities on offer include day walks, cycling and musterer safari trips into the high country for an authentic high country experience. The main woolshed is located right on the shores of Lake Wakatipu and will be transformed into the heart of this family-friendly experience.

Highly sought-after merino wool from Mt Nicholas station is used exclusively for Icebreaker clothing and the journey from sheep to clothing is included in the trip as well as fascinating stories of high country farming, the history of local families, and how they live in this remote location.

The Spirit of Queenstown will also be available for conference, incentive and event groups and private functions for up to 150 guests, offering a new and exciting option not currently available in Queenstown.
Southern Discoveries’ General Manager John Robson said it was ‘hugely exciting’ to have a new experience to offer visitors to Queenstown.

“We’re privileged to be the only company offering excursions to Mt Nicholas Station and thrilled to be able to showcase this wonderful pristine landscape for the first time,” he said.
The privately-owned Mt Nicholas Station will undergo some developments in order to host the trip and until now has been unexplored territory for tourists.

“In the competitive tourism market you always need to have something a little bit different and with our state-of-the-art catamaran – a first for Queenstown - and unrivalled access to one of the South Island’s most stunning high country stations, we’ve achieved that,” said Mr Robson.
The company continues to invest in its business and in October plans to relocate its current Shotover Street information and booking centre to the top of The Mall, one of Queenstown’s most iconic business locations.
The new flagship premise will be the main information base for the Southern Discoveries portfolio of products, KJet (in which Southern Discoveries owns a 50% share) and national bus carrier InterCity.
Mr Robson said it was one of the most high profile and high foot traffic sites in the CBD.

“It’s ideally positioned at the gateway to the town centre in full view of all new visitors into Queenstown,” he said.

”As we continue to invest in new products and experiences in Milford, Te Anau and Queenstown, we need to increase our street presence and the prestigious Mall location is perfect to capture visitors as they drive in or stroll around Queenstown.”

Southern Discoveries is the oldest and most well-established operator in Milford Sound operating five vessels, ranging in capacity from 35 to 400 passengers. It offers the widest range of Milford products including Scenic and Encounter Nature cruises and popular Discover More cruise featuring the Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.

It also owns and operates Harrisons Cove Kayaking, the Blue Duck Café & Bar in Milford, four information centres in Te Anau and Queenstown, and Te Anau-based coach service Go Milford.

It also operates the Queenstown Princess which provides day and charter cruises on Lake Wakatipu for up to 35 people. Southern Discoveries also have a 50% interest in KJet, Queenstown’s original Jet boating company and the only Jet boats to operate on both the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers.
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