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Spirit of Queenstown launches new cruises

Award-winning Southern Discoveries “delighted” to launch Spirit of Queenstown cruises and excursions to Mt Nicholas High Country Station

Mt. NIC High Country Station

Leading South Island tourism company Southern Discoveries continues to expand its business and is “delighted” to be launching its new Queenstown product range into the tourism market at this weekend’s TRENZ event.

The company will launch its new portfolio of products to hundreds of tourism industry professionals and media at the annual event held 18-21 May in Auckland.

The company’s purpose-built 26 metre high-speed catamaran, Spirit of Queenstown, with capacity for 150 passengers, launched in December 2013 and offers a premium cruising experience on Lake Wakatipu.

The multi-million dollar catamaran, which travels further up Lake Wakatipu than any other commercial operator, recently commenced daily cruises to Mt Nicholas High Country Station.

Located on the lake’s western shore, the privately-owned station covers over 100,000 acres (40,500 hectares) and is home to merino sheep used exclusively to supply New Zealand’s renowned Icebreaker clothing. As one of only a handful of traditional farms left in the country, they use horses and dogs for their mustering with no motorised vehicles involved.

Southern Discoveries new product range, as well as a Queenstown Scenic Cruise on Spirit of Queenstown, includes an authentic merino Mt. NIC Woolshed Experience, Mt. NIC 4WD Safari into the backcountry and Mt. NIC High Country Walk. All Southern Discoveries products at Mt Nicholas High Country Station are branded Mt. NIC excursions.

Southern Discoveries’ general manager John Robson said it was an exciting addition to the company’s range of products and he was extremely proud to be able to finally unveil the products at TRENZ.

“Last year we gave the industry a preview of what was to come but we’re just over the moon to be able to fully launch our amazing new products.”

“The station still runs the way it always has and we are delighted to offer the unique customer experience of an authentic high country station up close,” he said.

“It is an area of outstanding beauty that until now has rarely been seen by locals or visitors to New Zealand. It’s a working high country station so every day is different.”

“During August and September they shear over 28,000 sheep and we can share that experience with our guests.”

“At other times of the year, we take guests on a journey through the original woolshed outlining the process from farming and shearing high country merino sheep to supplying wool to world-renowned Icebreaker clothing,” said Mr Robson.

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

Spirit of Queenstown joins the company’s other vessel on Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown Discovery, in offering private charter options.

Designed to be flexible for any function - with removable seating allowing for open plan, cocktail format, theatre or meeting style – Spirit of Queenstown offers a unique way to entertain clients, conference and incentive groups and private functions.

Queenstown Discovery caters for up to 35 passengers and, as well as scheduled lake cruises taking in the majestic sights of the Queenstown region, it can be chartered for private hire.

In response to the expanded activity offerings, Southern Discoveries has appointed a highly-experienced sales team to promote its new Queenstown product range and Milford Sound experiences.

Cecil Potatau joined the sales team in June 2013 and is responsible for Asian markets and Julia Savill joined in March 2014 heading up the Western markets based in Queenstown.

“Over the last 12 months we’ve undergone a period of expansion and investment and we’re excited to showcase our new, unique and extremely ‘Kiwi’ products to New Zealand and the rest of the world,” said Mr Robson.


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