Star gazing tours and new pools are ‘hot’ attractions at Tekapo Springs

Media Release from Tekapo Springs

The introduction of star gazing tours married with the launch of new pools have put Tekapo Springs firmly on the global tourism map.

Star gazing tours in one of the world’s top ‘clear sky’ locations was launched by Tekapo Springs in New Zealand’s Mackenzie country just two months ago, taking viewing the Southern night sky to whole new levels.

Development of stargazing tours followed on from a multi-million-dollar investment into two new pools and an aqua play area at the complex, bringing the total number of pools to five.

Both investments have ensured the multi-award-winning South Island tourism attraction, renowned for its innovation and continued business developments, continues to be at the forefront of ‘must-do’ activities for visitors.

Tekapo Springs owner Karl Burtscher said Tekapo Star Gazing had been “extremely well received” by international and domestic visitors as it combined the top two attractions in Tekapo.

The tours take advantage of the fact that the tiny township of Tekapo sits within the world’s largest international dark sky reserve (4144sq km), only the fourth such reserve in the world.

They incorporate a 40-minute guided night sky tour with trained star guides followed by a 40-minute soak in the hot pools. Guides continue to give information, answer questions and ‘story tell’ on request, while guests chill out to relaxing astro music. Guests can also get closer to the stars and planets by looking through one of three powerful telescopes installed at the pools.

“Developing a product that marries our beautiful Southern night sky with a visit to the relaxing Hot Pools makes for an exceptional experience,” said Mr Burtscher.

“Visitors have called it an ‘out of this world experience’ or said they felt like they were floating in space, and our guides have been praised for being so knowledgeable about some of the closest and brightest features in the night sky such as stars, planets, constellations, and galaxies.”

Mr Burtscher said bookings were highly recommended as some tours were booked out well in advance.

“Even if the weather’s not perfect for star gazing, our guides provide an indoor audio visual about the night sky using the same content, with a high definition projector screen and astro photos and videos,” he said.

“It makes the tour an all-weather attraction, and we even have a cosy open fire to warm up the night too!”

The tours will operate on a winter schedule until October 31 with tours departing seven nights a week at 9.30pm (Mandarin-speaking), 10.30pm (English tour) and 11.30pm (both languages). The latest tour will also cater for visitors who like astro-photography.

From November 1 tour times change to 10.30pm, 11.30pm and 12.30am.

Last year Tekapo Springs also officially launched its new pools to great acclaim, proving “hugely popular” with visitors and locals and resulting in a significant increase in visitor numbers.

“We now have two busy seasons both summer and winter,” said Mr Burtscher.

“The pools are popular throughout the year, perfect for visitors in summer who want to relax while enjoying views of the lake and surrounding mountains, while in winter they’re a magical escape for visitors day or night.

“We just keep adding more and more reasons to visit Tekapo Springs including our winter ice skating rink, winter snow tubing and a huge inflatable summer waterslide.”

Tekapo Springs is a year-round attraction nestled on the shores of stunning Lake Tekapo, beloved by visitors from all around the globe and winner of multiple tourism awards. The new pool additions – themed ‘High Country Tarns’, each with its own distinctive shade of aqua green – are part of Tekapo Springs’ long-term growth strategy for expanding its aquatic attractions and offering a wider range of water temperatures and features.

Click here to visit Tekapo Springs’ website.

Picture caption:

1/ A stunning display of stars and constellations lights up the night sky for Tekapo Star Gazing at Tekapo Springs

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Original zipline company Ziptrek Ecotours tells the story of New Zealand with tourism partners

Media Release from Ziptrek Ecotours

Multi-award-winning zipline company Ziptrek Ecotours is showcasing its new partnerships to more than 370 of the world’s leading travel buyers at New Zealand’s biggest international tourism event.

Still flying high after seven successful years in business, and a recognised leader in zipline innovation and sustainable business practice, Ziptrek Ecotours sought out equally environmentally-conscious businesses for its latest combos.

As a result, they now offer the ultimate air, water and land-based packages for visitors to Queenstown, ensuring eco-credentials translate to positive experiences for visitors and locals. The three combos were all individually chosen for what they would add in value and experiences for guests.

The hugely popular Zip & Wilderness combo neatly packages up a Ziptrek Adventure, soaring to new heights ‘zipping’ through the trees above Queenstown, with a Dart River Wilderness Jet journey from Glenorchy at the head of Lake Wakatipu deep into Te Waipounamu World Heritage area of Mt Aspiring National Park.

Both experiences offer a unique combination of breathtaking scenery and exhilaration, and Ziptrek Ecotours is “delighted” to be working with Dart River thanks to a shared passion for environmental sustainability and protection.

Dart River Business Manager Harald Ulriksen said they were delighted to be working with Ziptrek.

“Both experiences have a natural affinity with nature and our environment,” he said.

The Zip & Kiwi combo combines a Ziptrek tour of the visitor’s choice with entry to the Kiwi Birdlife Park just a short walk from the zipline base. The combo with the park, which has over five acres of forest sanctuary, has proved extremely popular as it “tells the story of New Zealand”.

Ziptrek Ecotours already has a close relationship with the park since sponsoring a brand-new reptile wing to house its collection of rare and endangered wildlife, in particular tuatara and critically-endangered Otago and Grand skinks.

“This is a great example of us working with other businesses to help tell the New Zealand story,” said Ziptrek Ecotours Executive Director Trent Yeo.

“There’s continued interest in eco-tourism and we aim to be at the forefront of that, gaining the type of visitor who wants to see and experience the ‘real’ New Zealand and not just go shopping!”

That philosophy also sits well with the company’s third combo on offer – Zip & Ride. The combo is the perfect choice for those wishing to explore the region by air and land. After being taken to new heights with a gravity-driven Ziptrek Moa or Kea tour, guests can take to ‘pedal power’ with Around the Basin to discover parts of the region unreachable by car, meandering past lakes, rivers, the historic village of Arrowtown or through stunning wineries.

At last year’s TRENZ, Ziptrek used world-leading virtual reality video technology to bring its exhilarating zipline tour to buyers, a move that proved “hugely popular”.

Buyers were able to immerse themselves in the world of Ziptrek by donning the latest Samsung VR headset which literally ‘put’ the buyer on the company’s framed treehouses, zipping downhill and able to look around them at the stunning views as they did so.

“It was incredibly successful at getting people to feel what it is like to fly through the trees and see the majesty of our tree architecture in context,” said Mr Yeo.

“We’ve continued to use the headsets for overseas sales trips, as a tool for staff training and even in our Queenstown store to give people a ‘taste’ of the trip before booking. Watch this space for more!”

Leading the way in zipline innovation and sustainable business practice, Ziptrek Ecotours launched in New Zealand in November 2009 and since then has completed nearly three-quarters of a million zips through the forest canopy on ‘gravity fed ziplines’.

Click here to visit Ziptrek Ecotours’ website.

Picture caption:

1/ A Dart River Wilderness Jet journey is part of a popular Zip & Wilderness combo with Ziptrek Ecotours

 

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