Southern Discoveries is a local and family-owned company dedicated to sharing some of New Zealand’s most iconic scenery and extraordinary experiences with the world.

We have been operating for more than 60 years and are the original Milford Sound cruise company. We offer the widest range of adventure activities in the fiord, including a variety of cruises, kayaking and underwater observatory excursions.

In Queenstown, we offer lake cruises, farm experiences and cycling tours, as well as daily coach, flight and helicopter connections to Milford Sound.

We maintain an ongoing commitment to the conservation of our environment through sponsorship of the Sinbad Sanctuary Project and the Tawaki Project in partnership with the Department of Conservation, Fiordland Conservation Trust and the University of Otago.

We are a member of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment and we are Qualmark Gold Endorsed, meaning we are among the best sustainable tourism businesses in New Zealand.

We encourage all of our guests to learn about the Tiaki Promise so they can join us in keeping this incredible country beautiful!

Our History

Originally known as the “Milford Sound Red Boats”, Southern Discoveries was established shortly after the opening of the Homer Tunnel in 1953. The tunnel allowed road access to Milford Sound, providing a steady stream of tourists to the company’s cruises of the fiord.

After several ownership changes, including from government departments to state-owned-enterprises and later to a private corporation, Milford Sound Red Boats was sold to the family-owned Skeggs Group in 2008 and renamed to Southern Discoveries in 2009.

Three years later in 2012, Southern Discoveries expanded into Queenstown by bringing Spirit of Queenstown to Lake Wakatipu.

Conservation

Southern Discoveries is dedicated to preserving the beauty of Milford Sound and Queenstown for future generations. We sponsor several conservation projects in our regions, are Qualmark Gold endorsed and maintain a strict environmental policy.

Learn more about our conservation efforts.

Community

Community is at the heart of this local and family-owned company. We sponsor a large number of community groups, events and initiatives throughout the Otago and Southland regions, including:

  • Winter Pride Festival
  • Lake Hayes A&P Show
  • Queenstown Trails Trust
  • Queenstown Happiness House
  • Whakatipu Wildlife Trust
  • Tourism Operators Responders of Queenstown
  • Milford Sound Emergency Response Team

Awards

In recent years, Southern Discoveries has won the following awards:

  • 2009-2019: TripAdvisor Excellence Awards
  • 2019: Qualmark Gold Award
  • 2017: Tourism Export Council Operator of the Year Award

Employment

Life’s short, work somewhere awesome! Check out our current vacancies below or register your interest, and we’ll let you know when new jobs come up.

Vacancies
Register Interest