Preservation Inlet expedition

Preservation Inlet expedition

Queenstown, NZ

Join us on the ultimate voyage of discovery on an exploration of five of New Zealand’s southernmost and seldom visited fiords; Chalky and Preservation Inlets as well as the stunning Doubtful, Dusky and Breaksea Sounds. You’ll experience the extreme isolation of this inspirational wilderness, its beauty, wildlife and fascinating history. 

From aboard the purpose-built Milford Wanderer you will trace the route Captain Cook took during his historic 1773 voyage to seek out the hypothetical Terra Australis. 

During your cruise, you will land on beautiful beaches and spend time exploring the coastline via tender craft and kayak. View the island sanctuary set aside by New Zealand’s first conservationist Richard Henry and enjoy the rich wildlife you will encounter on the cruise.  

With on-board nature guides, great facilities and outstanding food, all your needs are catered for against an awe-inspiring natural backdrop. 


  • 6 nights / 7 days tour onboard Milford Wanderer
  • Scenic helicopter experience
  • All meals and complimentary tea and coffee 
  • On-board specialist nature guides 
  • Tender craft and kayaks for exploration of the coastline
  • Guided walks through rainforest. 

Travel Validity

Valid for Departures

  • 13 Aug 2022
  • 27 Aug 2022
  • 10 Sep 2022
  • 08 Oct 2022
  • 22 Oct 2022
  • 05 Nov 2022
  • 19 Nov 2022
  • 03 Dec 2022
  • 01 Apr 2023
  • 15 Apr 2023
  • 13 May 2023
  • 27 Aug 2023

Itinerary & Map

Day 1: Queenstown to Preservation Inlet

After a 3-hour coach ride from Queenstown, you will arrive at the Manapouri Visitor Centre ready for your Real Journeys Cruise. Start with an epic Helicopter to Weka Island Barge before boarding the Milford Wanderer and setting off on the Preservation Inlet. 


  • Helicopter ride
  • Dinner.
Day 2: Explore Preservation Inlet

In the morning visit the town site of Cromarty and the mining relics of Te Oneroa with the option of a 5km return walk to Puysegur Point Light House in afternoon.  


  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 3: Preservation Inlet to Chalky Inlet

 Visit Tarawera smelter’s reclining brick chimney and the site of NZ’s first operational whaling station at Cuttle Cove. Take in the golden beaches of Spit Island. Cruise to Chalky Inlet, anchoring at North Port near the rusting hulk of the 1800s government steam ship “Stella”. 


  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4: Chalky Inlet to Dusky Sound

Walk on the beach at South Port visiting the old sawmill site. Three-hour sea passage to Dusky Sound. Visit Pickersgill Harbour and Astronomers Pt - named and used by Cook during his five-week stay in 1773. 


  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 5: Explore Dusky Sound

Start the day with a visit to early conservationist Richard Henry’s house site on Pigeon Island. Cruise Facile harbour, site of NZ’s first known European ship wreck. Cruise through Earshell Cove and the narrow channels of Resolution Island to The Basin for a walk or some kayaking. 


  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 6: Dusky Sound to Doubtful Sound

In the morning visit Luncheon Cove, the site of New Zealand’s first European and sealers settlement. Optional guided walk (2.5km) over predator free Anchor Island. Cruise through Acheron passage to Breaksea Sound and then a 3-hour sea passage to Doubtful sound. 


  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 7: Doubtful Sound to Queenstown

Cruise Doubtful Sound and lunch in Hall Arm. Leave the Milford Wanderer in Deep Cove and cross by coach over the stunning Wilmot Pass. Visit the underground power station* then cruise across Lake Manapouri to complete your journey at the Real Journeys Manapouri Visitor Centre before boarding your coach transfer back to Queenstown.


  • Breakfast
  • Personal expenses and tips
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.  
Terms and Conditions
  •  Departure point is from Queenstown for the 3-hour coach ride to rendezvous with your cruise.
  • Twin Share Compartments and shared bathroom facilities as specified above.
  •  Itinerary with helicopter at end of tour is possible, please enquire with the Play Reservations Team
  • 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
  • Blackout dates apply and shown in calendar
  • Booking changes are allowed free of charge before final balance due date, additional rates may apply on new dates
  • Final balance is due 2 months before departure.