Tourism operators buy wharves

Journeys director Tony McQuilkin  at O'Regan's Wharf yesterday.  Photo by Olivia Caldwell.
Journeys director Tony McQuilkin at O'Regan's Wharf yesterday. Photo by Olivia Caldwell.

More vessels can be expected at Queenstown's waterfront after three companies purchased the O'Regan's and St Omers wharves this week.

The partnership between rival tourist companies, Southern Discoveries Ltd, Real Journeys Ltd and Remarkables Jet Ltd, will mean the possibility new commercial ferries.

Remarkables Jet Ltd director, John Porter, said they planned a waterfront "resort village" that would be serviced by small jet ferries that would travel between the already existing Remarkables Park and the newly purchased wharves.

"Involvement in the joint venture is a key part of progressing the development of our integrated master plan," he said.

The wharves were purchased from Ngai Tahu Property Ltd at auction on Thursday and the three companies own one-third exactly, each.

A director of Real Journeys Tony McQuilkin said the venture made "sound practical commercial sense" and would enable the company to purchase more vessels and future use of the wharf.

Real Journeys, which operates the TSS Earnslaw at the neighbouring Steamers Wharf, will operate 48m of the wharf while, Southern Discoveries will operate 32m of it.

Managing director David Skeggs said he was pleased to have entered a joint venture with the other parties, but said the company had no big plans.

Southern Discoveries operate the Queenstown Princess catamaran from O'Regan's Wharf.