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Real Journeys propose new “Narrows” Wakatipu ferry service

Media Release

26 June 2013

Real Journeys is seeking resource consent to operate a small passenger and cycle ferry across The Narrows on Lake Wakatipu to link Frankton Arm’s Queenstown trails.

It is proposed a 10.5 metre fully-electric catamaran will carry up to 30 passengers or 16 with cycles and run the 390 metres back and forth across the Narrows. 

Real Journeys Commercial Director Tony McQuilkin says the intention is to build the vessel from scratch as well as construct small purpose-built floating jetties at Park Street, Queenstown and the foreshore adjacent to the Kelvin Heights Wakatipu Yacht Club.

“The ferry which we are already affectionately calling the ‘Bumblebee’, because of its distinctive yellow and black stripes, would link up the Queenstown and Kelvin Heights walking and cycle tracks and effectively finish the loop with a quick 3-5 minute ferry ride.

“The service will enable Queenstown locals and visitors to explore the warmth of the Kelvin Heights Peninsula and Kelvin Heights residents to walk or cycle to Queenstown,” says Tony.

Tony says the jetties will have a unique cradle design to charge the “Bumblebee” and enable passengers to board from both sides of the vessel.

“This is an exciting and innovative initiative that will have little or no impact on our stunning Queenstown environment and deliver genuine benefits to visitors and locals alike,” says Tony.

Depending on the consents process and subsequent conditions the ferry could be operational as soon as October 2014.  In the interim Real Journeys have applied for the right to operate a smaller trial ferry, that lands directly on the beaches, to assess the market.

Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder says this proposal is part of Real Journeys growth strategy to become New Zealand’s foremost provider of outstanding tourism experiences.

“The potential investment in this ferry service represents another significant commitment to the Queenstown market by Real Journeys.”

Real Journeys was also recently named preferred bidder for the purchase of Cardrona Alpine Resort.


For further information contact:

Lenksa Papich - Real Journeys Marketing Communications Manager
Mob: +64 21 523 899