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Southern Discoveries exclusive tours to Mt NIC Station

Media Release from Southern Discoveries
January 3 2013

Southern Discoveries launches exclusive tours to Mt NIC Station aboard Spirit of Queenstown

Queenstown’s newest tourism attraction Spirit of Queenstown will start tours to Mt NIC (Mt Nicholas High Country Station) from Monday (January 6 2014) offering people an unrivalled opportunity to access New Zealand’s stunning back country.

The award-winning tourism company, operating for over 50 years, is delighted to offer access to the isolated, beautiful and natural surroundings of the station.

The brand-new Spirit of Queenstown catamaran, which launched scenic trips on Lake Wakatipu earlier this month, from Monday will take passengers over to the high country station for the first time.

Located in a peaceful and normally-inaccessible area on the western shore of Lake Wakatipu, Mt NIC is New Zealand’s oldest family-run High Country Station.

Southern Discoveries general manager John Robson said it was an amazing opportunity to work with the owners of Mt NIC Station to provide a unique insight into New Zealand’s rural heritage.

“Mt NIC showcases the high country at its best,” he said. “It’s truly breathtaking out there and also a place to escape and relax while enjoying the peaceful surroundings.

“Covering 100,000 acres it’s a working station with 30,000 merino sheep so every day is different. Along with the stunning views you may encounter cows with their calves, shepherds and their dogs moving merino sheep, fallow deer or rabbits.”

Southern Discoveries is offering three exclusive Mt NIC excursions including the Merino Woolshed experience, 4WD Musterers Safari and High Country Walk. All excursions include a scenic cruise on Spirit of Queenstown.

Each trip offers people a once-in-a-lifetime chance to escape everyday life and visit an area that few tourists or locals have ever seen.

The wool from Mt NIC. is exclusively used for New Zealand’s world-famous Icebreaker clothing. Visitors choosing the woolshed/Merino experience will have an exclusive look at the authentic shearing shed which in August and September is in use by a 15-strong shearing gang.

Woolshed trips depart daily at 9.30am, 11.30am and 1.45pm and guests will follow the wool’s journey from rugged high country merino to premium quality, world-leading Icebreaker clothing in an interactive, informative, fun and unique way.

Guests can also try their hand at stone skimming, horseshoe tossing, gumboot throwing and even compete at virtual shearing, which is exclusive to Mt NIC. and Southern Discoveries.

Others may prefer to “go bush” and explore high country living, learning about what inspires high country farmers to live in stunning but remote locations.

Departing from Queenstown each day at 9.30am, guests can choose from a six hour 4WD Safari or high country walk enabling them to truly experience Kiwi wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

The 4WD experience explores the back country of New Zealand, the Mavora Road and Mt Nicholas Station aboard customized 4WD coaches, following in the footsteps of New Zealand’s intrepid settlers.

“With river crossings, back country roads and spectacular Von Valley views, this is a pristine, remote and rugged area of New Zealand that’s rarely been seen by locals or visitors to New Zealand,” said Mr Robson.

“Guests will visit Old Nick, the original home site of the White family, who settled Mt Nicholas Station and travel deep into the back country to Bullock Creek, a restored musterers hut where they can enjoy a relaxed rustic lunch of local cheeses, relishes, meats and breads.

“People will simply be blown away by the isolated location. If you think you’ve experienced remote New Zealand wilderness before, think again. This will leave you breathless.”

The half-day high country walk explores a different part of the station including Lovers Leap, the spectacular Von River mouth, native forest and the original homestead site.

Guests follow the lake shore to the old bakehouse and walk up into the foothills of Mt Nicholas Station where they’re rewarded with spectacular uninterrupted views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

The fully-guided walk, which takes approximately two hours and covers around 6km of high country, enables guests to soak up the peace and tranquillity of New Zealand’s remote back country and a light packed lunch is provided.

The Mt NIC experiences have limited numbers per trip to ensure a unique, individual experience every day.

“If you’ve ever wondered what it’s really like to live, breathe and work on a working farm or escape the rat race and embrace nature, then this is the perfect trip for you,” said Mr Robson.

“From the moment you board our state-of-the-art catamaran and start your scenic journey across the sparkling waters of Lake Wakatipu, you’ll feel peaceful and relaxed.

“Guests and locals alike will want to ensure there’s enough battery in the camera as there are ‘picture perfect’ views at every turn.”

Bookings for The Spirit of Queenstown Scenic Cruise, Woolshed Experience, 4WD Safari or High Country Walk can be made by visiting Discover Queenstown information centre at the top of The Mall in Queenstown, at O’Regans Wharf, 110 Beach Street or online at


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