REAL Journeys is ensuring visitors to the Te Anau Glowworm Caves, Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound enjoy a remarkable experience every step of the way, with the official opening of its recently renovated visitor centre in Te Anau last month.
Robynne Peacock, daughter of Sir Les and Lady Olive Hutchins, had the honour of cutting the ribbon.
Mrs Peacock was recognised at this year’s Fiordland Tourist Awards (with a life membership) for her support of the Fiordland tourism industry.
The 80 invited guests also included her brother, Bryan Hutchins – who previously led the company.
Real Journeys chief executive Richard Lauder said the building had to be almost completely gutted for the refurbishment and was a substantial investment.
“It’s part of our commitment to continue to invest in Te Anau – the heart of our business. It follows on from our recent investment in the Takahe Cafe building, the new Fiordland i-SITE and the Go Orange visitor centre and is making sure that visitors enjoy their time with us at every touch point.”
The visitor centre was redesigned to create a warm, inviting space inside which maximised the stunning lake views and could comfortably accommodate more people.
The ground floor has an open plan area with a central counter making it easy to talk to the visitor centre team and access information. The first floor is an open-plan administration office. Pedestrian flow and access to the wharf has also been improved and a new viewing deck added outside.
The new building, designed by McCulloch Architects and built by Amalgamated Builders, of Invercargill, took almost six months to complete.
It is on the same footprint as the original, which was built by Fiordland Travel in the early 1950s.