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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Multi-million dollar Spirit of Queenstown well on her way to Bluff

Multi-million dollar catamaran Spirit of Queenstown rounded Farewell Spit yesterday morning (Tuesday August 13) after successfully crossing the Tasman Sea in three and a half days.

Queenstown’s newest tourism attraction will make her way down the east coast of the South Island over 
The Spirit of Queenstown gets ready to sail to Bluff, New Zealand_media
the next few days before coming into port at Bluff at approximately 9am Thursday morning (August 15).
The cockpit of the purpose-built 26m high-speed catamaran will be removed at Bluff and the boat readied for transport to Queenstown and her home on Lake Wakatipu.

She’ll be transported by road to Kingston on Tuesday 20th August over two days and lowered by crane into the lake next Thursday.

Engineers from Australian boat building company Aluminium Marine Pty Ltd of Brisbane are coming over to supervise removal of the cockpit and its reinstatement at Kingston.

The Spirit of Queenstown will make her spectacular entrance into Queenstown Bay towards the end of next week.

Southern Discoveries General Manager John Robson said sea trials and the Tasman crossing had gone “exceptionally well” and the skippers were very satisfied with the way the boat had performed.
“We’ve had daily updates from her crew and they’ve been impressed with how she manoeuvres in the water. They’re excited to get her home to Lake Wakatipu,” Mr Robson said.

“We are excited to bring a new and unique tourism product to the Queenstown area to complement our Milford Sound experiences.

“We encourage everyone to come down, be a part of local history and wave her into the bay in style.”
Spirit of Queenstown will be moored at O’Regans Wharf on Lake Wakatipu and will operate unique tours to Mt Nicholas Station for an authentic and nature-based experience.

From early November she will carry up to 150 passengers from Queenstown across the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu to Mt Nicholas which boasts 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.

Experiences on offer at the normally inaccessible Mt Nicholas Station, which has undergone some developments in order to host trips, will include woolshed experience, ½ day high country walks,, cycling and musterer safari trips into the high country.

“We can’t wait for her official launch and maiden voyage which will incorporate an official Maori blessing to welcome her to the lake,” said Mr Robson.
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