Wayfare is set to relaunch most of its experiences this 4th July in time for the school holidays.
“Like most tourism operators we’ve had to make carefully considered changes to realign our business to cater for a different mix of guests. It’s been a difficult few months, but I’m now looking forward to relaunching our experiences in Doubtful Sound, Milford Sound, Te Anau, Stewart Island - and the TSS Earnslaw and Go Orange Jet Boats in Queenstown. The International Antarctic Centre is already open in Christchurch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Our winter ski season should be under way just before our other activities - with Cardrona and Treble Cone opening on the 26th and 27th June,” says Wayfare Chief Executive Ian Jackson.
The 107-year old TSS Earnslaw returns from her annual survey all spruced up and ready to launch new products customized for Kiwi families to enjoy over the school holidays. A 1½ hour cruise on the TSS Earnslaw (with a beverage included) will run on Friday and Saturday nights at 6pm and is almost half the price of a normal cruise-only ticket. A steamship ‘High Tea’ is now on offer on the midday cruise to Walter Peak where families can walk through the award-winning Colonel’s Homestead gardens and Walter Peak farmyard to feed the animals. The renowned Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ lunch will return at the end of August.
“This would have to be the best opportunity for Kiwis to head south and discover the largest area of untouched wilderness in their country. They’ll find ancient landscapes, warm southern hospitality, and tourism as it used to be,” says Jackson.
It’s been years since Doubtful Sound – the remote fiord that launched Real Journeys, was just $125. Inaccessible by road, and not as well-known as Milford Sound, the 7-hour experience includes a cruise across Lake Manapouri, coach trip over the scenic alpine Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove and a three-hour Wilderness Cruise.
This would have to be the best opportunity for Kiwis to head south and discover the largest area of untouched wilderness in their country.
There will be fewer visitors travelling the renowned Milford Road to Milford Sound too. Daily cruises on the refurbished Milford Haven include Kiwi ‘fish & chips’ or soup.
Following a successful Queens Birthday Weekend, the Te Anau Glowworm Caves return with twice daily departures (10.15am and 2pm). The Te Anau Visitor Centre will also reopen (9am – 4pm) on the 4th July, sharing its building with the i-SITE and Go Orange.
The Stewart Island Ferries have never stopped providing a service to the island, but the 2½ hour Ulva Island Explorer returns in time for the school holidays.
Following the July school holidays some experiences become weekend-only until the following school holidays, or more frequently based on demand.
Ian Jackson says he hopes the support shown over Queen’s Birthday weekend will continue to be strong. “We were really encouraged by the number of Southlanders requesting the Te Anau Glowworm Caves. Our teams love sharing our backyard and say they were able to talk to everyone – it really was like the old days.”
‘Kids Go Free’ on all experiences and the promotion is extended throughout the winter season – a tradition started by the founders of Real Journeys, Les and Olive Hutchins, to ensure as many New Zealand children as possible had the opportunity to experience some of the country’s wilderness areas.
Our teams love sharing our backyard and say they were able to talk to everyone – it really was like the old days.