The original and most established tourism operator in Milford Sound, Southern Discoveries continues to enhance and develop its products and services.
The premier South Island tourism company has been operating in the area for over 50 years and offers a wide range of cruises and tour options including Scenic, Encounter Nature and Discover More cruises, plus a kayaking experience through the beautiful waters of Milford Sound.
The company also operates the Milford Discovery Centre & Underwater Observatory, New Zealand’s only floating underwater observatory and Te Anau-based coach service Go Milford Day Trip.
Southern Discoveries has the largest selection of experiences available in Milford Sound and continues to review its product offering. New this season for the Western market is a two-hour Milford Sound Nature Cruise aimed at coach groups, with a knowledgeable Nature Guide on board and detailed English language commentary.
The purpose-built catamaran, Spirit of Milford, can carry over 200 passengers but will be capped at just a few groups to guarantee a feeling of space and comfort. With plenty of table seating next to large viewing windows, passengers can sit back, take in the stunning views and look out for seals, dolphins and even the world’s rarest penguin – the Fiordland crested penguin.
Flagship vessel Pride of Milford is undergoing some refurbishment which will be completed in September this year. Its VIP Lounge, the only available on board a Milford boat, will be enlarged to cater for up to 50 passengers, enabling more guests to enjoy the VIP experience.
The popular International Buffet Lunch stations on board will be extended to provide greater choice and more efficient self-service. A third buffet station will be created to cater for special food requirement groups of up to 35.
Southern Discoveries’ general manager John Robson said the company had invested significantly in both its Milford Sound and Queenstown operations.
“We pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service and are always looking for new ways to improve our products and services to enhance customer experience,” said Mr Robson.
“We’re thinking about everything from multi-lingual commentary to the all-important little details like a hot water station for those chillier days at Milford and catering for special food requirements.”
Scenic Cruises remain popular with the Asian markets and offer live multi-lingual commentary in Japanese, Mandarin and Korean on the 11.00am and 1.30pm departures.
Southern Discoveries also owns a shareholding in Milford Sound Lodge, which offers eight new ensuite chalets nestled in this stunning area of natural beauty.
“After two years of key investments, we’re excited to showcase our new products alongside our enhanced original favourites,” said Mr Robson.
“We’re extremely proud to share our unique and very ‘Kiwi’ products with international visitors and New Zealanders alike,” he said.
1/ Nature Cruise on Spirit of Milford
2/ Spirit of Milford in Harrison Cove
About Southern Discoveries
Southern Discoveries operates four vessels at Milford Sound ranging in capacity from 35 to 400 passengers, and offers the widest range of trips and experiences in the fiord.
The company operates Scenic Cruises, Encounter Nature Cruises, Cruise and Kayak Milford Sound and the Discover More Cruise which incorporates a visit to the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory.
It owns and operates the Blue Duck Café in Milford, three information centres in Te Anau and Queenstown, and Te Anau-based coach service Go Milford Day Trip. Southern Discoveries also own a shareholding in Milford Sound Lodge.
The company operates Queenstown Lake Cruise which provides day and charter cruises on Lake Wakatipu for up to 35 people and it owns 50% of KJet, Queenstown’s original Jet boat operator.
Southern Discoveries newest addition, Spirit of Queenstown, launched in December 2013 and operates exclusive cruises to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm on the western shores of Lake Wakatipu. Visitors can choose from a range of excursions including a Scenic Cruise on Spirit of Queenstown, or an authentic Farm Experience at Mt Nicholas to meet to the working farm animals, get up close to merino sheep and get off the beaten track into the landscape for short walks to spectacular vantage points. Carrying up to 120 passengers, Spirit of Queenstown is also available for private hire and charters.
Southern Discoveries ongoing commitment to conservation is through the Sinbad Sanctuary Project in conjunction with Fiordland Conservation Trust and Department of Conservation.