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. A rule of thumb would be not to exceed 120 kg and try to pack in soft bags rather than hard cases. We’ve also attached a quick list to help you pack.
What should I bring?
What equipment is on board?
Different times of the year have different appeals. For example in October the Scollop season starts; November, being spring, is fantastic for wildlife; April is the Roar and great for hunters and late summer and winter is the best time for diving due to water clarity; whilst our settled winter weather is also a treat for any photography enthusiast. So any time is a good time to come but get in touch with us to discuss what would be best for you.
On board you’ll find two tenders, kayaks with life jackets, a variety of fishing rods, reels and tackle, paddle boards, free diving equipment including 7mm Wettie wetsuits ranging from XXS to XXL as well as dive cylinders, BCDs, SCUBA fins, masks etc and weight belts. There is the luxury of a water maker, ice maker, washing machine and dryer as well as two dive compressors. We provide safety equipment to shore parties, kayakers and divers. We also carry first aid, and AED and oxygen as well as all other safety equipment required by Maritime New Zealand. And of course there is a hot tub for you to use.
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 if you choose to 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...
Can we collect Paua with SCUBA gear onboard?
We have a very good relationship with MPI around having SCUBA gear onboard. We simply lock away all regulators and no SCUBA diving takes place while we collect and enjoy our Paua. Everything is recorded and any Paua harvested are consumed onboard.
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 generally catch for the table which is nowhere near the daily or accumulative bag limits. If we happen to harvest a surplus you are welcome to take a feed home for the family - but we do not fill freezers. This way we protect the fishery for the future... and we enjoy our catch the way it should be - straight into the pan!
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.