Real Journeys recognised for outstanding contribution to conservation in Central Otago

Date: 6 November 2015

Media Release

Real Journeys received special acknowledgment from the Department of Conservation (DoC) at the Inland Otago Conservation Celebration Event last night.   

The “Certificate of appreciation” was awarded for three of Real Journeys Queenstown initiatives; the Walter Peak Land Restoration Project, kākāpō fundraising and awareness projects and whio (blue duck) relocation support.

“We’re very pleased to be recognised for our efforts in this area, as we’re better known for all the conservation work we do in our heartland of Fiordland,” says Richard Lauder, Real Journeys Chief Executive.

The Walter Peak Land Restoration Project received special mention.  It began last year after Real Journeys purchased the land it had been leasing around the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant at Walter Peak.  The project is committed to stopping the spread of wilding pines on its 155 hectare peninsula, by replacing them with pockets of native bush and grassland. 

The Department of Conservation called it an “ambitious project that required significant expense”.  Mike Tubbs, Operations Manager from the DoC Central Otago district office says “All of Queenstown has benefitted from this wilding forest clearance, as the seedling were constantly threatening the golden tussock hillsides of the famous Cecil and Walter Peaks, which form part of Queenstown’s famous landscape.”

Real Journeys partnership with DoC to help bring one of the kākāpō, one of the world’s most endangered birds to Arrowtown and the ‘Birds of a Feather’ Ball it held at Walter Peak was recognised for helping raise awareness and almost $40,000 for the species.  Also mentioned was Real Journeys sponsorship of the rare native whio (blue duck) relocation from the Milford Track to near the Routeburn Track, to help boost breeding pairs.

DoC says Walter Peak, kākāpō and whio are just some of the conservation initiatives Real Journeys have brought to Queenstown in recent times.  “We do very much value the company’s contribution, the energy of their management and staff, and so look forward to working with them more in the future,” says Mike Tubbs.

Richard Lauder and Tony McQuilkin, Real Journeys Commercial Director were at the event to receive the Certificate of appreciation.  Real Journeys was one of three recipients of this year’s award and the only commercial organisation to receive one.

For further information contact:

Tsehai Tiffin - Real Journeys Corporate Communications Manager
Mobile: +64 21 523 899