About Real Journeys


 Qualmark Green Environmental Accreditation System - "Enviro-Silver"

Real Journeys activities have been rated 'Enviro-Silver' by Qualmark Green Environmental accreditation system.

Real Journeys is a dynamic, award-winning New Zealand company that provides high quality excursions in southern New Zealand.


Our locally owned and operated business has a simple goal: to introduce visitors to New Zealand’s exceptional environment and to give them a new appreciation for nature.

We started out as a small family business with pioneering ideas (see History story). Over the years, our service, local knowledge and award-winning environmental ethos have won us acclaim both in New Zealand and overseas.

What we do

Real Journeys offers a range of quality sightseeing and adventure excursions for visitors to Fiordland National Park, Queenstown and Stewart Island.

 Real Journeys coach at Milford Sound  TSS Earnslaw arriving at Steamer Wharf  Stewart Island Ferry Terminal, Halfmoon Bay







Our excursions include daytime and overnight cruises in Milford and Doubtful Sounds, tours into the Te Anau Glowworm Caves and guided day walks on the Milford Track. We operate daily coach connections from Queenstown and Te Anau and flight connections between Queenstown and Milford Sound. In the winter months we also offer multi-day Discovery Cruises (5-7 days) along the Fiordland and Stewart Island coastlines. Real Journeys also operates Fiordland Wilderness Experiences sea kayaking operation.


The vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw (launched in 1912), takes regular scenic cruises across Lake Wakatipu. Cruises on this beautifully maintained vessel connect with Walter Peak High Country Farm where passengers can disembark for a taste of New Zealand’s rural life (farm tours, barbecue lunches, horse trekking, heritage tours, cycling excursions and evening dining in the Colonel’s Homestead). From Queenstown we offer flightseeing options to and from Milford Sound which link with our daytime and overnight cruises.

Stewart Island

Stewart Island Experience is a wholly owned subsidiary of Real Journeys Ltd with operational bases at Bluff and Stewart Island.  In addition to the ferry service between Bluff and Stewart Island, the company operates coach connections to and from Bluff, and a range of island excursions. These include Paterson Inlet Cruises that visit the renowned wildlife sanctuary of Ulva Island and the Village and Bays Tours to learn about the history and environment of Stewart Island. Rental cars, motor scooters and mountain bikes are also available for hire.

Real Journeys also owns and operates Stewart Island Lodge, a bed & breakfast located on Stewart Island.


 Walter Peak High Country Farm  Stunning scenery of Doubtful Sound  Stewart Island Lodge - lounge








Joint ventures

Alliances with other local tourism operators complement the Real Journeys range of excursions. Joint ventures include Queenstown Rafting (50% joint ownership), Black Cat Cruises (50% joint ownership) and 50% joint venture in Queenstown’s Southern Lakes Info Centre.

Our Philosophy

At Real Journeys, we aim to share the magnificent natural and cultural heritage of southern New Zealand in the most enriching and engaging way possible. We are conscious that we operate in a special part of the world and we feel privileged to do so.

Les Hutchins, the company’s founder, had a lifelong interest and involvement in conservation in Fiordland National Park.  Les passed away on 19 December 2003 at the age of 79 but his contribution continues through the Leslie Hutchins Conservation Foundation. Every year, Real Journeys passengers contribute over $50,000 to this foundation via a $1 Doubtful Sound passenger levy.

In addition to contribution to the foundation, Real Journeys operates and assists with multiple conservation and environmental projects in our local region. As a locally owned and operated company, we play an active role in the communities in which we operate. Every year, we provide more than $100,000 worth of sponsorship to local organisations and sports groups. We also offer free travel for children on many excursions during New Zealand school holidays, subsidised travel for school groups and, as appropriate, organise charity cruises for worthy local causes.

Enjoy Our Hospitality

Fiordland, Queenstown and Stewart Island offer something that is becoming more and more rare; true wilderness which you can discover and experience in comfort with Real Journeys. We’ve been sharing this area’s natural beauty and history since 1954 and no one knows it better.