What time of the year is the best time to come?
Every trip on board is fully catered, so the only things to bring are some clothes, any treats or alcohol you may want to indulge in and of course a sense of adventure. The only thing you need to bring aside from you personal belongings would be a your own regulators, SCUBA certification and recent medical if you wish to SCUBA dive, a rifle, hunting permit and gun liscence if you wish to hunt and your own speargun if you wish to spearfish. Everything else is onboard for you.
A rule of thumb would be not to exceed 120 kg and try to pack in soft bags rather than hard cases. Have a look through our packing help for a little more detail..
What should I bring?
What equipment is on board?
Different times of the year have different appeals. Spring, is fantastic for wildlife; summer boasts long days and the most rainfall, April is the Roar attracting hunters (although we tend to get more animals outside of it), Scallop season starts in October.. winter is stunning for diving due to water clarity; whilst our settled winter weather is also a treat for any photography enthusiast. Fishing is good year around and so is exploring and generally enjoying all Fiordland has to offer. So as cheesy as it sounds any time is a good time to come and you're likely to get four seasons regardless of the time of year either way.. which means simply think about when it fits best into your life and we'll go from there. You'll have a great time regardless!
M.V. Flightless is a 27m ex Navy expedition vessel with international survey, extensive safety equipment including an AED and oxygen, a minimum of three crew, two tenders, two watermakers, diesel stove, commercial ice maker, laundry facilities, ventilation & heating throughout, 5 cabins with ensuite bathrooms, second saloon in the wheelhouse, full walk around deck, heli-pad, easy access to the water and a huge heatable back deck which is also partially under cover. Everything asides from alcohol is included... catering, bedding and towels, fishing rods and tackle, yoga mats, an extensive library, dive cylinders, BCDs and weights, fins, masks, snorkels, catch bags, knives as well as 2 piece 7mm wetsuits, spearfishing floats and 20m float lines, kayaks, bean bags, paddle boards, free-diving gear and of course a hot tub on the top deck.
So all there is to bring along is yourselves, a little luggage, a sense of adventure and of course any special treats you’d like to indulge in whilst onboard.
How do I get to Te Anau or Manapouri?
You can fly directly into Queenstown which is only two hours north. From there most people choose to hire a rental car or van depending on the group size. You also have the option to jump onto any of the bus services that operate between Queenstown and Te Anau such as TrackNet.
Due to our remote location we advise anyone coming along to spend the night prior and following our adventure in either Te Anau or Manapouri as otherwise you might quite literally 'miss the boat'.
Will I get seasick?
There are no guarantees.. BUT chances are reduced significantly as we fly to and from M.V. Flightless. So instead of travelling down the coast to one of the southern more remote Fiords we'll be waiting right there for you and within the internal waters of the Fiords there is always shelter to be found.
Can I bring my drone?
It sure is and the one thing we get to hear is that there is TOO MUCH good food resulting in a kilo or two extra for the return helicopter ride. There are three meals a day, snacks and a never ending fruit bowl as well as cookie jar just in case. Another big part of enjoying Fiordland is the privilege to eat what you catch. So if you enjoy seafood you'll be in heaven... and if you don't you'll still be floating on clouds...
Is catering included?
Yes, you can. The same as flying a drone anywhere in New Zealand, you must abide by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) rules for unmanned aircraft. If you want to take off or land in the National Park you will need to get a permit from DOC. Also be aware that there is often limited GPS signal due to the steep mountains which can add a bit of a challenge when it comes to actually flying it...
What's the water temperature?
People tend to think diving in Fiordland will be cold and are pleasantly surprised by the reality. The water temperature sits around 11-12 degrees in winter and might warm up by a few degrees in the summer months. Our 7mm Wettie Suits are two piece which means you have 14mm on your core to keep you toasty warm and what better way to end a dive than with a soak in the hot tub!
What are the daily catch limits?
We believe in catching a feed for the table instead of filling freezers. Treating any seafood collected respectfully and using as much as we can. So our 'catch limits' are set by your appetite as well as the chefs needs on the day which allows us to protect the fishery for the future... enjoying our catch the way it should be - ocean to plate!
I weigh 118kg does that mean I can only pack one pair of undies?
People tend to worry about the weight limit of 120kg (including body weight) but remember this is the average across the group. There is an option to book an extra gear chopper but in reality the majority of our clients find that with a bit of consultation within the group and some strategic packing - it is not required. On the rare occasions it is required it would average $150 per person across the group which is a little like the extra baggage allowance on Air NZ and can be dealt with on the day if it was needed.