Premier South Island tourism company Southern Discoveries offers groups a unique and unforgettable experience in both Queenstown and Fiordland.
The family-owned business has been operating in two of New Zealand’s most magnificent locations for more than 50 years, and in recent times has increased its corporate portfolio for the MICE market with unique venues and tailor-made experiences. Guests are invited to rediscover Queenstown from both on and off the water with a range of experiences covering all aspects of corporate, conference and incentive travel.
Southern Discoveries’ newest addition Spirit of Queenstown is a ‘remarkable floating venue’, cruising across spectacular Lake Wakatipu and doubling up as a transfer option to Mt Nicholas station on the western shores.
Spirit of Queenstown is the area’s most versatile venue for every event, with the added flexibility of being able to explore anywhere on the lake. As a standalone venue, the state-of-the-art vessel caters for off-site event options from breakfast meetings or sunset cruises with cocktails and canapés, to wine master-classes or product launches – all with the stunning backdrop of the Remarkables mountains and idyllic alpine scenery.
With capacity to carry up to 120 passengers, the vessel has an enclosed interior area with options to theme and offer on-board entertainment. Theatre-style seating that can be removed with ease for various layouts. An open top deck is ideal to capture those picture perfect photo opportunities.
A cruise can be combined with an authentic slice of high country, as Spirit of Queenstown can transfer guests across the lake to Mt Nicholas High Country Farm. Set amongst breath-taking scenery, the farm provides guests with a rare and alternative view down both ends of the lake, towards Glenorchy and back towards Queenstown.
Stepping off the boat onto the wharf, guests catch first sight of The Woolshed, an impressive venue catering for up to 150 guests which can be transformed into a themed location with theatre and/or a dining capacity.
The venue can be transformed into an exquisite setting for gala dinners, weddings or conferencing with full facilities available. Team building packages can be arranged for indoor and outdoor activities such as games, orienteering, sheep drafting, 4WD trips, fly fishing, target shooting and more.
A wide range of catering options includes an authentic Kiwi barbeque and warming bonfire set down by the lakefront or a delectable three-course feast served to the table.
Nestled in the heart of the farm is Old Nic – a rustic stone cottage and the original homestead just 20 minutes’ drive from The Woolshed and wharf. It’s the perfect executive retreat for up to 20 guests, with an option to arrive in style by helicopter from Queenstown and 4WD back out to wharf.
Southern Discoveries also operates Queenstown Discovery offering day and charter cruises for up to 25 people, enabling smaller groups to experience Lake Wakatipu up close.
Often referred to as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, Milford Sound is the perfect location to host that extra special event. As the original and most established tourism operator in the fiord, Southern Discoveries offers a wide range of cruises options.
Spirit of Milford carries over 200 passengers, Milford Discovery is an intimate vessel for small groups of up to 10, while flagship vessel Pride of Milford is currently undergoing refurbishment to include a VIP lounge catering for up to 50 guests. All cruises can be top and tailed with a scenic flight to and from Queenstown.
Conference and incentive sales manager Kayleigh Moriarty said it was important to offer ‘stand-out’ locations in the growing and competitive MICE market.
“With such a range of options for events, meetings and conferences, we’re certain that we can offer something different while matching client criteria perfectly,” she said.
“What sets us apart is the stunning settings and unique venues that make events one to remember.”
1/ High county experiences at Mt Nicholas station
2/ A birdseye view of the Spirit of Queenstown