1st September, 2015
Over $15,000 Raised for Yellow-Eyed Penguins on Real Journeys ‘Cruise-for-a-Cause’
The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust will employ a researcher to find out why yellow-eyed penguin numbers are decreasing near Stewart Island, following a $15,335 funding boost from Real Journeys ‘Cruise-for-a-Cause’ initiative.
In the last twelve years, the number of penguin breeding pairs has almost halved on Codfish Island/Whenua Hou near Stewart Island/Rakiura and the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust (YEPT) needed external funding to help find out why this was occurring on a predator-free island.
As a successful applicant for Real Journeys ‘Cruise-for-a-Cause’, the penguin trust was able to sell tickets to an entire Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise and keep 100% of all the money raised.
Seventy-two guests enjoyed the pre-season cruise over the weekend, complete with dinner, breakfast and kayaking. It was also the final training preparation for the Real Journeys Fiordland Navigator staff. “What a team! Their enthusiasm for the wonders of the fiords, wildlife and weather was infectious!” says Sue Murray, General Manager, YEPT. “We had the best trip ever – I only heard praise from all on board!” (See the Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust’s account of the trip attached.)
“The funds raised from the sale of tickets will support the monitoring of yellow-eyed penguins on Rakiura/Stewart Island over the next breeding season,” says Sue. “Thank you Real Journeys for this wonderful opportunity both to raise funds and for us to appreciate this world class location.”
Real Journeys Chief Executive, Richard Lauders says the fundraiser was “a great way to start our Doubtful Sound Overnight Cruise season. It’s good for our training and our teams love being part of it. The same community initiative will launch our Milford Sound Overnight Cruises later this month (18 Sept) and this time the Queenstown Lakes Family Centre is the charity involved. They’re adding a unique twist by bringing an opera singer on board and there are still tickets available; so support them if you can – we’d like to help them raise heaps.”
Last month, Real Journeys held a “Birds of a Feather Charity Ball” at Walter Peak, which raised over $35,000 towards Kakapo Recovery and this week the company is holding a special Discovery Expedition to raise funds for the Department of Conservation’s Dusky Sound Conservation and Restoration Programme.