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Five Life-Changing Moments to have on Discovery Expeditions

Date: 31 August 2022

Discover real wilderness. Find out how our Discovery Expeditions are the ultimate way to tick off multiple bucket-list experiences in one almighty adventure.

When was the last time you went on an adventure? A real adventure, over a few days, into the true deep wilderness of New Zealand’s backyard, where no roads lead? A RealNZ Discovery Expedition is a taste of pure exploration, guaranteed to amaze, astound, invigorate, and touch all who don their adventurer’s cap. These expeditions are once-in-a-lifetime experiences for some, so it’s safe to say they’re on plenty of bucket lists. Little do people know, you’ll be ticking off multiple bucket-list experiences in just one adventure.

Helicopter in (or out)

It wouldn’t be a real adventure into the wilderness if a helicopter wasn’t involved. With many of our expedition cruises, we think the only way to get to point A, or point Z is with a chopper. In fact, it’s one of the only modes of transport that allow access to your remote surroundings. Typically, on the first day of the expedition, we’ll cruise you through Manapouri over to its West Arm, and from there, we’ll chopper you over to Supper Cove helipad. If you’re heli-ing out, you’ll chopper in reverse back to Manapouri. There’s no greater and exhilarating “I’m going on an adventure” moment than when you’re ducking your head to climb inside. When you’re up, gaze out across the field of mountains below, and to the magnificent Mount Ward. Try and spot the ocean in the distance, it’s where you’ll be heading. Dismount and climb aboard the Milford Wanderer.

Helicopter from view of the cockpit

Trek Anchor Island

On our Dusky Sound Expedition, you’ll have the choice to explore predator-free Anchor Island with an informative guide. Emblazoned with the nickname of Kākāpō Island, it’s no surprise that it’s a popular residence for the endangered species. Keep an eye out for our beloved native parrots, they’ll no doubt have eyes on you, too. It’s an incredible, goose-bumping privilege to walk amongst these rare birds, with no more humbling feeling than listening to birdsong in the otherwise silent Sound. If our boisterous feathered friends decide they like you, you’re in for a treat. They’ll just about make you, their playmate.

Kayak through the Basin

Abandon ship and set sail on your own boat. Grab a kayak and paddle your way through the narrow channels next to Resolution Island, and into The Basin. Here, you’ll be surrounded and secluded by intimate mountains and wildlife. With the typically still and sheltered waters of the basin, it’s an easy paddle to explore every nook and cove along the shoreline. You’re the captain here – embrace your adventure.

Cruise through Doubtful Sound

Break out into the ocean and journey to another land, or another sound – Doubtful Sound. Your three-hour sea passage will give you time to look out for the marine wildlife you’ve always dreamed of spotting: humpback whales, dolphins, seals, and penguins. Finding these elusive animals on their home turf is an incredible feeling, and a magical moment to share with them, as you’re braced in the sea air.

Conquer Wilmot Pass

Departing from the Milford Wanderer is by no means the end of your exploration. Take a coach over the majestic Wilmot Pass, where you’ll head over the most southern crossing of the Southern Alps. Take a moment to feel on top of the world in this dense and expansive rainforest, and take a cool, fresh breath of Fiordland air in. Reflect on the journey you have undertaken. You’re high in altitude but grounded gazing across this lush native bush.