Fiordland Tourism Operator of the Year

The company was praised for its "passion and desire to provide a genuine visitor experience,"operating for over 50 years in the Fiordland region, an accomplishment described as a ‘significant.’ Rachel Cockburn, manager of the Fiordland Conservation Trust, nominated Southern Discoveries for the award, citing the company’s "genuine, community- minded, and innovative approach to the visitor experience in Milford."

Cruise Milford Sound. Credit: Tourism New Zealand
Mrs Cockburn said the company’s strategic approach to growing its range of products for visitors was another key attribute for the nomination.
She praised Southern Discoveries’ continued commitment to conservation through the Sinbad Sanctuary project in conjunction with the Fiordland Conservation Trust and DoC.
Its commitment in the Fiordland region also includes the development and enhancement of the Milford Discovery Centre and Underwater Observatory. In 2011 the company also introduced a new Milford Sound kayaking option accessible to even the most inexperienced paddlers.
With four information centres in Queenstown and Te Anau, International Account Managers and a strong online presence Mrs Cockburn also highlighted Southern Discoveries’ 
commitment to promoting Te Anau as a destination as "valuable to the local community".