Lake ready to taste the Spirit

20:41, Aug 21 2013
Spirit of Queenstown
The Spirit of Queenstown arrives in Kingston.

The multimillion-dollar Spirit of Queenstown will make her maiden voyage on Lake Wakatipu today.

The 51-tonne, 150-seat Southern Discoveries catamaran arrived by transporter in Kingston yesterday after leaving Bluff on Tuesday, a little over a week since leaving Brisbane. She crossed the Tasman Sea in three-and-a-half days.

The cockpit of the 26-metre long high-speed vessel was removed at Bluff for the road trip to Kingston.

Engineers from Australian shipwright firm Aluminium Marine accompanied the vessel to supervise the removal and reinstatement of the cockpit.

Yesterday, Southern Discoveries general manager John Robson said she arrived at 11am after an overnight stop in Athol.

The transport job by Scobies Transport was smooth sailing.

"The cockpit is on and the windows have to be put back in. The plan is for a lift into the water about midday."

The new Southern Discoveries Mt Nicholas trip starts in November and will rival the classic Queenstown trip aboard the TSS Earnslaw run by Real Journeys.

Spirit of Queenstown will be moored at O'Regan's wharf and trips to Mt Nicholas Station will include woolshed tours, high country walks, cycling and safari excursions.

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