The Leslie Hutchins Conservation Foundation

The Leslie Hutchins Conservation Foundation is committed to supporting efforts to protect and preserve New Zealand’s southern lakes and conservation areas and to reducing financial barriers for all New Zealanders to experience and enjoy these areas – particularly those at-risk or disadvantaged.


The Saddleback transfer in Fiordland National Park

We have the opportunity for you to be part of a Saddleback bird transfer in the Fiordland National park.

  • Two seats on the helicopter which will fly from Te Anau to Breaksea Island to pick up Saddleback birds and transfer them to Rona Island on Lake Manapouri.
  • Two places on the recovery teams which will travel by boat from Doubtful Sound to Breaksea Island and assist with capture of the birds.

 Find out how you can involved.

Leslie Hutchins

“Les was happiest when he was sharing the beauty of Fiordland with his family, friends and tourists. The area was very important to him he campaigned against issues that threatened the natural value of these special places and the opportunity for everyday New Zealander’s like you and I to experience and enjoy them. Les’ legacy lives on through his family, Real Journeys and the Leslie Hutchins Conservation Foundation. It is the trustees hope that the Foundation will continue the work in conservation that Les was so passionate about during his lifetime.”
- Olive, Lady Hutchins

Leslie Hutchins raised his family and pioneered a successful tourism business on the shores of Lake Manapouri. During the Save Manapouri campaign in the ‘60’s Les spearheaded initiatives to raise awareness of the tragedy that awaited should the Lake be raised. During his lifetime he developed a passion for the area, imparted this to his children and grandchildren and over the years shared it with millions of tourists through the company he and his wife Olive founded, Real Journeys (previously Fiordland Travel).

Such was the deep love that Les had with the area and a desire for it to be accessible and attainable for all New Zealander’s he formed the Leslie Hutchins Conservation Foundation. The Foundation continues today in the spirit Les intended; to financially assist those who are working on projects to conserve the Southern region (including Southland, Fiordland National Park World Heritage Area, Stewart Island and the New Zealand Sub Antarctic Islands) and to offer financial assistance to people who may not otherwise be able to experience the area through various programmes, courses and facilities.

It is the Trustees desire that the work Les started not only continue but grow. If you have a conservation project requiring funding then we want to hear from you. You will find funding criteria on the applications page.

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