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Dusky Sound Conservation Expeditions

RealNZ have teamed up with DoC to offer a Discovery Expedition like no other

RealNZ have teamed up with the Department of Conservation (DOC) to offer a Discovery Expedition like no other and make a difference. On this unique cruise, you will learn about DOC's conservation efforts in Fiordland from DoC staff onboard.


  • Learn about the Department of Conservation’s conservation efforts in Fiordland and the rest of the country, from the DOC team on board
  • See some of the conservation work that’s being done
  • Raise funds for the Cooper Island Restoration Project, which is part of DOC’s Dusky Sound Preservation Programme – $500 of your ticket price goes towards this cause.

This 5 day, 4 night expedition includes a helicopter flight, comfortable cabins onboard the Milford Wanderer and delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef.

Conservation Expedition dates:

  • 27 - 31 Mar 2022
  • 11 - 15 Dec 2022
  • 15 - 19 Dec 2022

Please call 0800656501 or email [email protected] for more information or to book. 

More Information

Departure Location

The Dusky Sound Conservation Expedition departs from the RealNZ Visitor Centre in Manapouri. 

Getting to Manapouri

Manapouri is about 3 hours from Queenstown and 30 minutes from Te Anau by road. You can self-drive or if you prefer, let us do the driving for you and get you there by coach. 

Milford Wanderer - your home in the fiords

Just because you’re escaping civilisation doesn’t mean you have to go without its comforts. Our vessel, the Milford Wanderer, is a modern motorised vessel that has been purpose-built for navigating southern New Zealand.

The Milford Wanderer

Designed along the lines of a traditional sailing scow, it has old world charm combined with modern facilities and the latest in safety equipment. The Milford Wanderer offers "twin-share" compartments and shared bathroom facilities. 

  • 32 passengers per departure
  • Warm, comfortable accommodation (two passengers per sleeping compartment)  
  • Duvets, sheets and towels provided
  • Modern shared bathroom facilities with hot showers 
  • Delicious meals prepared by onboard chef  
  • Open bridge policy - chat with the skipper during the voyage
  • Kayaks and small motorised craft available for passenger use


Please note this is a general guide only, all itineraries are subject to change based on weather conditions and crew judgement. In addition to below there is also lots of cruising, and extra kayaking or walking where time allows!

Standard Itinerary - Cruise + Heli Out:

Day 1

Manapouri to Breaksea Sound

Cruise across Lake Manapouri, coach over stunning Wilmot Pass to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound. Board the Milford Wanderer and cruise out of Doubtful Sound with a 3-hour sea passage to Breaksea Sound to conclude the day.

Day 2

Breaksea Sound to Dusky Sound

Cruise through Acheron passage to Dusky Sound and visit the Shag Islands and Sportsman Cove. In the afternoon time will be spent as a DOC volunteer assisting DOC with current Conservation projects.

Day 3

Explore Dusky Sound

A day of exploring Dusky Sound with shore landings and activities, exact locations to be visited will to be confirmed by the crew

Day 4

Explore Dusky Sound

Today’s activities will be split over the course of the day dependant on the weather. Time will be spent as a DOC volunteer assisting DOC with current Conservation projects and time to explore some of the Historic sites Dusky Sound has to offer.

Day 5

Dusky Sound to Manapouri

Arrive into Supper Cove, where you will spend 2 hours participating in conservation activities. Helicopter transfer will commence from Supper Cove to West Arm from 11.30am. Cruise across Lake Manapouri back to Manapouri Visitor Centre.


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