Lost in Space


Explore an untouched corner of the world in deluxe serenity.

Time slows down in Fiordland and civilisation is an ephemeral guest. Cruising through one of the world’s great wildernesses in south-western New Zealand leaves you with a sense of modern comfort while simultaneously feeling all of its primordial 560-million-year age away.

The Fiordland Jewel is one of a couple of boats to venture into and beyond Doubtful Sound for more than an overnight stay.

The family-owned, purpose-built vessel spends its summer around Milford Sound but in the colder months it heads south to explore the untouched Dusky and Long Sounds and remote inlets. It’s a seven-day, six-night trip with a spectacular helicopter transfer one-way and whose exact itinerary

depends on the weather, the captain’s whims and where the overflowing crayfish pots are waiting with their treasure.

The boat is a boutique 18-person floating island of calm that offers space to breathe but is small enough to be cosy. The food is exceptional, prepared by an accommodating and talented chef. Lobster, cod, sea urchins and more – kaimoana, seafood in Maori – are pulled live out of the water just in time for dinner. Guests can help forage if they are up for a quick swim or scuba dive into the 8ºC water. Fussy teenagers will eat as well as carnivorous adults and vegetarians.

The boat is a boutique 18-person floating island of calm that offers space to breathe but is small enough to be cosy

Your days are spent gazing out of the window spotting dolphins, seals and albatrosses, tramping along stunning bushwalks, kayaking and just reading and relaxing. There is no internet to remind you of the outside world, but there is a wonderful, knowledgeable crew who take you through Fiordland’s impressive multicultural history in real time. The area’s unspoiled remoteness will leave you hard-pressed to locate much evidence of that, but overnighting where Captain Cook’s crew raced rowing boats in 1770 is a visceral trip back in time.

This is not a whistle-stop, and you’ll-miss-it cruise. Fiordland is not always easy and the weather can be very unpredictable. However, a week in Fiordland slowly and incrementally serves up an alluring sense of off-the-grid tranquillity and introspection. In driving rain you gaze out into the barely discernible hues of grey, contemplating the ultimate oversized Rothko-esque landscape and quietly asking existential questions. In glorious sunshine, surrounded by new friends and millpond water, the beauty and serenity smack you more obviously in the face. Whichever way nature rolls, a week in Fiordland is an intriguing and a marvellous expansion of your mind.


Queenstown is the entry point for Fiordland cruising and is a fabulous destination in its own right. The backpacker adventure experience is still there but it is increasingly an upmarket town framed by the equally stunning Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range. Skiing, mountain biking, wine, adventure and a one hundredyear- plan to replace all the imported pine trees with native species will greet you here. It’s the world’s intrepid travel hub with a sprinkle of Louis Vuitton for good measure.

Visit fiordlanddiscovery.co.nz, or fiordlanddiscovery.co.nz/fiordland/fiordland-6-nights-7-days for more info.

What's Trending Now

Hit enter to search or ESC to close

Don't miss a thing!

Get all our latest recipes, cooking tips and tricks, gardening ideas and all things happening in-store at Harris Farm in your inbox every week.