Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Real Journeys celebrates 60 years in business

20 May 2014

Real Journeys celebrates 60 years in business

Key Southern New Zealand tourism operator Real Journeys celebrates 60 years in business and family ownership this month.

The company used the annual travel showcase TRENZ in Auckland this week to launch its celebrations with a 50’s themed stand and staff resplendent in matching outfits.

Real Journeys was founded in May 1954 by tourism and conservation pioneers Les and Olive Hutchins. Today the company remains largely in Hutchins family ownership with some third generation shareholders now coming through.

Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder says the Real Journeys story is a remarkable one.

“Les Hutchins crafted the beginnings of this now significant business with his bare hands, shear tenacity and absolute passion for Fiordland. His legacy still shapes how we do things at Real Journeys today and that I believe is why our visitors choose to travel with us,” says Richard.

The Hutchins’ started out walking people into remote Doubtful Sound under the name the Manapouri-Doubtful Sound Tourist Company. In the 60’s they expanded their vessel services on Lake Manapouri and purchased the Te Anau Glowworm Caves and the associated services on Lake Te Anau. They saved the iconic, now 101-year old, Queenstown based steamship the TSS Earnslaw from being scuttled by the Government in 1969. In 1970 they took on the Government monopoly in Milford Sound and started running cruises, adding on flight connections from Queenstown in 1987. Walter Peak High Country Farm was leased and tourism operations commenced there also in the 90s.

In 2013 Real Journeys made the significant acquisition of Cardrona Alpine Resort as well as investing heavily in existing operations such as upgrading Walter Peak and purchasing the underpinning land and assets.

Real Journeys founder Olive Lady Hutchins says her husband Les would be extremely proud of where the company is today and particularly the purchase of Cardrona Alpine Resort.

“Everything we’ve achieved over the last 60 years is due to what our staff do, and especially how they treat our customers – I believe that’s what makes us so special,” says Olive Lady Hutchins.

Richard says people can expect to see more action from Real Journeys in years to come particularly in the conservation space.

“We have expanded notably in recent times and will continue to look at growth opportunities but in the interim we are keen to also connect back with our conservation roots and ensure the areas we operate in are nurtured and preserved.”

(Sir) Les Hutchins was instrumental in the Save Manapouri Campaign which is seen as the beginning of the environmental movement in New Zealand.

Les Hutchins
• In 1978 Les Hutchins was named one of the founding Guardians of the Lakes ( Te Anau and Manapouri) – he held that position for 26 years
• Spent 12 years on the New Zealand Conservation Authority
• Founding patron of the New Zealand National Parks and Conservation Foundation
• In 1988 Les Hutchins was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his services to tourism
• In 2002 Les Hutchins was made a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to conservation and tourism
• In 2011 Les was posthumously inducted into the Fairfax Media NZ Business Hall of Fame
• His contribution to Southern New Zealand continues through the Leslie Hutchins Conservation Foundation


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news