Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise wins New 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award

The Real Journeys Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise won the inaugural 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award at the Qualmark awards hosted by the Tourism Minister at Parliament last night.  The awards recognise excellence in visitor experiences and tourism sustainability.  Real Journeys Walter Peak Gourmet BBQ Lunch was also a finalist.

Accepting the award, Real Journeys General Manager Paul Norris paid tribute to his staff for their dedication and said the award was particularly poignant for the company because “Doubtful Sound is where it all started 65 years ago this month, with the vision of our founders - Les and Olive Hutchins”.

Just seven tourism companies received a 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award, from 41 finalists and over 100 entrants.  Only the country’s leading tourism companies with Qualmark’s highest assessment rating - the Gold Sustainable Tourism Business Award were eligible to enter the awards.  Qualmark is New Zealand’s official tourism quality assurance.

The judges said the Real Journeys Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise “Combined great story-telling, stunning scenery and outstanding staff to tell the story of Fiordland.  The moments of silence on each cruise provide that total solitude, where guests feel totally at one with nature.”

Almost all Real Journeys experiences are Qualmark Gold rated, including its Milford Sound Cruises (day and overnight), Milford Track Guided Day Walk, TSS Earnslaw vintage steamship, Walter Peak High Country Farm, Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Stewart Island Experience, Discovery Expeditions and Doubtful Sound cruises (day and overnight).  

Tourism Minister Hon. Kelvin Davies said being a finalist was a significant achievement, and that the awards recognised tourism operators who demonstrated “real dedication to manaakitanga and environmentally sustainable business practices”.

The 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award winners with Tourism Minister Kelvin Davies & Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise
7 Winners L-R Paul Button (Rotorua Canopy Tours), Alex Cuff (accepting on behalf of Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools & Spa), Bruce Thomason (Redwoods Treewalk), Jason Wright (Kaitiaki Adventures), Minister of Tourism Hon. Kelvin Davis, Quinton Hall (Franz Josef Glacier Guides), Paul Norris (Real Journeys)  and Kieran Frost (Camp Glenorchy).

About Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise:

About Real Journeys

Real Journeys is a privately owned tourism business that was founded in 1954 by tourism and conservation pioneers Les and Olive Hutchins.  Today the company remains true to its founders and their guiding principles of conservation and hospitality. Based in some of the most untouched areas of New Zealand, Real Journeys has operations from Stewart Island to Queenstown – including the Te Anau Glowworm Caves, world renowned cruises through Milford and Doubtful Sounds and the heritage steamship TSS Earnslaw.
Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise wins New 100% Pure New Zealand Experience Award