A stunning new kayaking trip in one of the most majestic places in the world has been launched by premier New Zealand tourism company Southern Discoveries.
The company is operating a scenic kayaking trip in sheltered Harrison Cove, within Piopiotahi-Milford Sound in the South Island of New Zealand. Trips are now running from the Milford Discovery Centre & Milford Deep Underwater Observatory, which Southern Discoveries refurbished and reopened in 2010.
Southern Discoveries General Manager John Robson said the kayak operation started this month in time for the busy summer season and catered for a maximum of 12 people at a time with experienced guides leading the way.
“This is the perfect fun activity for people who want to have a short, gentle paddle in the calm, sheltered waters of Harrison’s Cove,” he said.
“At this time of year, kayakers will be able to have an ‘up close and personal’ penguin experience as they are nesting in the cove on the water’s edge while they have their annual moult.
“Throughout the season, our guides will be talking about the flora and fauna they can see from the kayaks, the rock formations that descend into the water, and the soaring peaks that surround Milford Sound.
“There’s no experience required and just a moderate level of fitness.”
Kayak trips depart four times a day from the Milford Discovery Centre as part of a cruise, Discovery Centre, observatory and kayak ‘total Milford experience’ lasting between three and four-and-a-half-hours.
A new single-storey kayak facility sits right alongside the Discovery Centre and Observatory, joined by an elevated walkway. The kayak pontoon features a specialist platform to lower and raise passengers into and out of the water in their kayaks.
“The full trip is unrivalled in Piopiotahi Milford Sound in giving visitors the most complete and varied experience,” said Mr Robson.
“Many people when they come here wish they could spend more time on the water in this World Heritage Park. It’s a very special place, and this experience allows people to explore the cove and its unique views and features from the water.
“Many international visitors in particular, approximately 85% of all Milford visitors, have never experienced such a pristine and rugged environment. The kayaking trips enable them to do this without impacting on the environment or wildlife in any way.”
Trips will not venture out into the main sound used by daily sightseeing vessels.
Cruise-Discovery Centre-Kayak combos depart 9am, 10.15am, 11.45am and 3pm daily. The complete trip takes approximately four-and-a-half hours including about an hour in kayaks. Prices range from $169 to $189. For bookings and further information go to www.southerndiscoveries.co.nz