Turning over a new leaf – from tourism to tea

Turning over a new leaf – from tourism to tea.

An international tourism company based in Queenstown has brewed up a new business idea, turning its hand to artisan tea.

Impact Escapes, which provided bespoke, off-the-beaten track tours in Sri Lanka pre-Covid, has launched Impact Tea, sourcing its produce from the tea estates it used to tour with visitors.

Co-founders Alex Musgrave and Sally Miller are the only suppliers of this type of small batch, artisan tea in New Zealand, which is hand-picked and hand-rolled in Sri Lanka.

“Sadly we’re not able to show Kiwis Sri Lanka at the moment, so we’re now bringing a taste of Sri Lanka to New Zealand thanks to the contacts we already had with growers,” Alex says.

The tea leaves come from four distinctly different estates, which rather than being blended together are all sold separately, making them a high-end tea-lovers dream, a ‘single estate tea’.

“In much the same way that people are now buying artisan beer or single-estate wines, there’s growing appreciation for fine tea,” says Alex.

“The flavours are guided by the weather and change slightly depending on the season, unlike highly processed and blended tea. Tea connoisseurs can definitely taste the difference.”

Impact Tea is selling pure Ceylon tea, which is notoriously difficult to source in New Zealand.

Alex and Sally were struck by the idea for Impact Tea not only to support themselves in a post-Covid world, but also the estate owners, workers and friends in Sri Lanka.

The estates they work with are owned and managed ethically, including fair and proper payment and treatment for staff.

“It was our top priority to work with ethically managed and run estates and thanks to our already-existing relationships, we were able to ensure that happened. We’re happy to continue to support these small operators in Sri Lanka,” says Alex.

Impact Tea works in partnership with the Tea Leaf Trust, which provides education and educational facilities to estate workers and their children.

“Every sip of Impact Tea connects the drinker to the picker and helps improve their lives and the area they live in. It’s the ultimate win-win,” says Alex.

Loose leaf Impact Tea can be purchased online or in select Queenstown stores and markets.

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Spectacular ‘green weddings’ inspire couples to eco-elope to Queenstown

Spectacular ‘green weddings’ inspire couples to eco-elope to Queenstown.

It is the ultimate in love, sustainability and adventure.

A group of Queenstown businesses have teamed up to create dream ‘green wedding’ packages to help New Zealand-based couples tie the knot in unique and inspiring ways this summer.

And to celebrate the launch of the initiative, the wedding collective is running a ‘Tell Us Your Love Story’ competition which will culminate in one lucky couple winning a Forest Eco-Elopement wedding package worth nearly $6,000.

The competition will invite couples to enter to win an ‘eco-elopement’ in Queenstown between 1 February and 30 April 2021 (with blackout dates over Easter), allowing them to make the most of its spectacular scenery, world-class experiences and long summer and autumn days.

Sarah Arkin, of Simply Mindful Weddings, and Ziptrek Ecotours are leading the initiative and Mrs Arkin says they’re delighted to be working with other like-minded local businesses to share the love.

“We’re seeing couples wanting to be more mindful with their wedding plans and they are looking for smaller, more intimate, more affordable, and environmentally-conscious weddings that truly reflect who they are as a couple,” she says.

“In essence, couples are looking for ceremonies that have more meaning, and less waste.  Weddings don’t have to cost the earth, and we believe the focus should be on celebrating two people taking the next step on their journey together.”

Mrs Arkin says Simply Mindful Weddings has the experience to make peoples’ wedding dreams come true with over 10 years of planning Queenstown weddings, alongside a genuine commitment to sustainability and mindfulness with the packages on offer. Its community focus means they work with Queenstown owned and operated businesses that are “incredibly talented” at what they do and are excited to be leading the way towards a more sustainable wedding industry.

Ziptrek Ecotours Sales & Marketing Manager Nicky Busst believes the initiative is a “marriage made in heaven” for local businesses.

“A simple celebration of your love surrounded by nature and spectacular views creates a setting that can’t help but get you in the romantic mindset,” she says.

“We know this year has been tough for many couples around New Zealand and we want to help them bring their dream wedding to life here in Queenstown. Our treehouses provide unique staging platforms enabling a fun and affordable wedding while also caring for our environment and community.”

The ‘Tell Us Your Love Story’ competition launches on December 1 with entries closing at 4pm on December 10.  To enter, couples must reside in New Zealand and submit their love story, including why they think an eco-elopement would be perfect for them, via the Simply Mindful Weddings website.

The Eco Elopement prize package up for grabs includes:

  • A unique ceremony venue set high amongst the treetops on Bob’s Peak with stunning views over Queenstown made exclusively available by innovative zipline company Ziptrek Ecotours.  The happy couple will be whisked down their exhilarating treetop ziplines after they say ‘I Do’
  • A paperless ceremony personally crafted for each couple by Queenstown local celebrant Andrew Bell
  • A sustainable floral package, including a dried floral bridal bouquet and buttonhole or a seasonal fresh floral bridal bouquet and buttonhole locally foraged by The Flower Room
  • Organic, locally produced New Zealand bubbles for their first toast
  • Help with obtaining their marriage licence and providing two legally-required witnesses
  • A photography package for up to two hours of ceremony coverage and additional location photos, professionally edited and provided digitally by Rich Bayley Photography
  • Bespoke planning and ‘day of’ coordination by Simply Mindful wedding professionals to ensure no trace is left behind
  • Planting of New Zealand native trees in the couple’s name through conservation charity Trees That Count.

Competition entries will be reviewed and voted on collectively by all the prize package sponsors and the winning couple will be announced live via the Simply Mindful Instagram on December 11.

For more information about the Queenstown eco-elopement package, upgrade options and bespoke packages visit http://simplymindfulweddings.com/eco-elopements/forest/.

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50,000 salmon smolt released into Lake Tekapo

50,000 salmon smolt released into Lake Tekapo.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon and Central South Island Fish & Game Council released 50,000 smolt into the crystal clear waters of Lake Tekapo last week.

The young salmon, which are about two years old, were raised at the nearby Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Ohau hatchery on the Ohau Canal. Last week’s release was part of the Fish & Game Council’s “put and take” programme in Lake Tekapo, developed over the past 10 years.

Fish and Game officer Rhys Adams says the release will “reinvigorate” the salmon fishery in the lake, but they will need time to grow to between two and four pounds.

The tanker load of smolt was taken to the outlet of Lake McGregor on the western shore of Lake Tekapo for release.

“The last release was in 2018 and has proven successful with anglers reporting catches in the last spring to summer period,” he says.

“Anglers should pencil in the spring-summer of 2022 to target these hard-fighting fish.”

In the meantime, Lake Tekapo offers a great Rainbow and Brown trout fishery, married with some of the best scenery in New Zealand.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon CEO David Cole said the gifting of smolt was part of the company’s policy of giving back to the fishing community.

“We have an excellent relationship with Fish & Game and are very happy to help sustain the Lake Tekapo Salmon fishery,” he says.

“We hope it will make up somewhat for the cancellation of the very popular Kids Salmon Fishing Competition because of COVID.”

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Ltd farms Freshwater King Salmon in the South Canterbury hydro canals of the MacKenzie District. This special salmon is sought after for its clean subtle taste and delicate texture, in New Zealand and across the globe.

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NZONE Skydive celebrates thirty years in the sky

NZONE Skydive celebrates thirty years in the sky

New Zealand’s first commercial tandem skydive operation is celebrating a milestone 30 years of operation this month.

Three decades ago NZONE Skydive took to the skies in Queenstown, the home of adventure, thanks to the incredible vision of founders Robynne and Lindsay Williams.

Over the years its grown to become the world’s leading tandem skydive operation, giving more than 350,000 passengers to date the thrill of a lifetime, and with more to come.

Starting with just three staff members at its base in a paddock near Queenstown in October 1990, it grew year-on-year to become a world-renowned, multi-awarded adventure tourism operation.

Today it also operates Skydive Wanaka (the second-largest skydive company in New Zealand operating for 25 years) and Skydive Southern Alps. The company employed close to 200 staff in pre-COVID times and completed 60% of all tandem skydives in New Zealand.

Meeting the COVID challenge head on, NZONE Skydive is committed to keeping the doors open and retaining as many staff as possible.

“With a legacy of 30 years of operations under our belt as one of Queenstown’s pioneering adventure tourism companies we’re in a battle to survive,” says Skydive Queenstown General Manager Clark Scott.

“We’re celebrating our very special birthday with staff and customers, and over this summer and beyond we’ll continue to offer outstanding experiences to our domestic visitors and hopefully, in the near future, visitors from overseas.

“To all our customers, staff and key trade partners, we’d like to say a very heartfelt ‘Thank You’ for 30 years of incredible support. We couldn’t have done it without you.”

NZONE Skydive offers guests tandem skydives from 9000ft to 15000ft with up to 60 seconds freefall at speeds of 200 km/hour above some of the world’s most stunning scenery.

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Harcourts Queenstown welcomes Hamish Walker to team

Harcourts Queenstown welcomes Hamish Walker to team

Harcourts Queenstown has welcomed former MP and Queenstown resident Hamish Walker to the team as a licensed sales consultant.

Mr Walker, 35, is “returning to his roots” as he originally completed his real estate papers some years ago and has industry experience from across New Zealand.

He was just “days away” from starting work with Harcourts Dunedin three years ago when he was presented with the opportunity to stand for Parliament in the electorate of Clutha-Southland.

Now living in Queenstown since mid-2019, he says he’s looking forward to helping connect people to property, and spending more time at home.

“I’m in the real estate industry to help people reach their goals and next stage of life, we love this community and I feel deeply connected to it having represented the area in Parliament,” he says.

“My enthusiasm for helping others and my relationship with each community in the Wakatipu Basin helps me connect with clients to provide them with the best service possible.

“I enjoy spending time with family, volunteering in the community, refereeing rugby, playing golf, fishing and skiing.”

Mr Walker says highlights of his time in Parliament included successfully lobbying the Government to increase the housing cap by $100,000, and holding the first ever protest march in Queenstown to help keep a much-loved Sri Lankan family stay in “this place we call home” and passing a members bill to help put foster children on a level playing field with other kids.

His previous experience includes founding a property management business in Auckland which he successfully franchised and sold, and he’s worked in the banking and accounting industries.

Over the years he has served the community in roles including a board director on the Otago Rugby Union and as a member of the Otago/Southland Lotteries Committee.

Harcourts Queenstown managing director Warwick Osborne says Hamish is “all about relationships and community” which is the perfect fit for the company.

“Trust, community and shared values are at the heart of doing business in Queenstown and throughout the Harcourts Highland Group’s six offices in Otago, and Hamish’s deep ties to the region make him an ideal addition to our brand,” he says.

“On a sporting level Harcourts is proud to sponsor the Otago Rugby Referees Association and we appreciate the volunteer work Hamish and others like him put into our children, families and the wider community.”

Celebrating 25 years in business next month, Harcourts Queenstown has created a supportive team culture which encourages consultants and all members of staff to reach their full potential.

“We’ve always been a market leader and nationally we’ve been voted New Zealand’s most trusted brand for eight years in a row by our clients, so we’re delighted to welcome Hamish to our team.

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New deals site set to correct the market, lands in the Tasman District and Nelson

New deals site set to correct the market, lands in the Tasman District and Nelson.

The founders of a new discount deals site are calling out the industry for lack of transparency as they launch in the Tasman District and Nelson.

Everyone loves a good discount but the team behind Deal Champ knows businesses are hurting, trying to keep afloat and keep staff employed.

That’s why they’ve come up with a new concept in online deals that’s touted as a ‘win-win’ for vendors and buyers, acknowledging that Deal Champ’s “on a mission” to disrupt the industry with longevity and sustainability at the forefront.

Co-founder and Business Development Manager Chris Bradley says in the build-up to Covid the deals industry had been “completely broken and out of control”.

“We all love a great deal but not if it forces businesses into a position where costs and commission rates keep going up, yields go down and people lose jobs,” he says.

“The old deals model of booking and payment systems rapidly unravelled as Covid took hold and there were some spectacular fallouts.”

So the Deal Champ model is very different from other deal and online booking sites, where the ‘deal’ the customer sees doesn’t deliver all those much-needed dollars into the operator’s pocket.

“Deal Champ is user-friendly, no contract, no commission and no bullshit,” says Chris.

The brand new business model was hammered out in a late-night brainstorm, fuelled by Covid-19 and a bottle of whisky.

Tasman businesses have been quick to get on board from tourism activities to lawyers and beauty salons and much more.

Deal Champ is the brainchild of the four founders of Queenstown-based Everything Travel Group (ETG) and experienced deals industry guru, Chris.

Nigel Hobbs, Matt Morgan, Callum Goodall and Kris Barrs of ETG had been running the online travel and tourism agency for nearly two decades, watching cracks slowly appear in the deals industry.

Like all good ‘lightbulb moment’ ideas the premise is simple – unlike other models, Deal Champ doesn’t take any commission or fees from vendors. Instead, customers pick their deal and pay 10% of their savings to Deal Champ, thereby ‘accessing’ the deal.

From that moment on, the transaction is between the customer and vendor only, meaning there’s no middleman, no holding payments and no hidden costs. Customers are sent an e-voucher to use to pay the vendor directly.

“We’ve set the bar high right from the get-go as we’re aiming to be the biggest and fairest deals site by Christmas, supporting local all the way,” says Chris.

The site will span across six different industries including experiences (encompassing tourism), accommodation, wellness, dining, retail and services.

Mark Burnaby, Managing Director of Abel Tasman Sea Shuttles, was thrilled to be on board with Deal Champ.

“We love the business model, it’s great that we can offer special promotions to New Zealanders that’s also affordable for our business and gives us some extra exposure online,” says Mark.

“There was definitely a need for Deal Champ, the commissions that have previously been paid on top of a discounted product is not ideal. This business model certainly fits us and it’s solving a problem for sellers and buyers.”

Stacey Annett, owner of The Beauty Lounge Beauty Clinic Nelson, echoed this sentiment.

“We really needed a good, honest deals sight. A lot of people use them as customers, including myself, and it’s good to know this is fair to everyone involved.”

Deal Champ’s Chris is adamant the deals industry needs to work with, not against vendors.

“In a really tough time in business life right now we need to work together to reset the industry and make it transparent so vendors can afford to keep staff employed and yields up.”

Deal Champ also has the investor support of hugely successful tech-hospitality startup First Table, founded by Queenstown’s Mat Weir.

Future developments will enable First Table restaurant listings to be purchased through Deal Champ, making the site New Zealand’s biggest deals platform.

Deal Champ has already launched in Queenstown and Christchurch over the past month and will roll out in different areas throughout New Zealand over the coming months.

Check out the new site here: www.dealchamp.co.nz

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New Board Appointment At Mt Cook Alpine Salmon

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Ltd is pleased to announce the appointment of Carl Carrington to its Board.

Carl was Chief Executive of Moana for six years, previously known as Aotearoa Fisheries. Moana has a major interest in Sealord which in turn owns 100% of Petuna, a Tasmanian salmon company.

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Chairman Sir Bill English said he was “pleased to welcome Carl to our board at a time when like all other businesses we face new uncertainties.”

“Carl has deep knowledge of the seafood industry along with marketing experience in New Zealand and overseas,” he said. “He also has established relationships in markets where we export and he will provide a valuable strategic view for our board.”

Since retiring from Moana, Carl has moved to Wanaka and has a number of professional board roles including the Cawthron Institute in Nelson. A chemical engineer by profession, Carl has a track record with a number of senior roles in multinational organisations. He holds an MBA and is a chartered member of the Institute of Directors.

“I joined Mt Cook Alpine Salmon because I’ve always admired the company, its values and its forward-thinking strategies,” said Carl.

“I was privileged to do some organisational development work for them earlier this year and was very impressed with the calibre of their people.

“I feel I can offer some contribution to helping the company unfold its aspirations.”

Mt Cook Alpine Salmon Ltd farms Freshwater King Salmon in the South Canterbury hydro canals of the MacKenzie District. This special salmon is sought after for its clean subtle taste and delicate texture, here and across the globe.

 

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Holiday Inn Express supports community – embraces Winter Pride

Queenstown’s Holiday Inn Express & Suites has only been open seven weeks, but has jumped ‘boots and all’ into community events.

This week its proud sponsor of the Winter Pride On-Mountain Series, an explosion of colour across three mountains incorporating the famous Onesie Day, Ski Charity Race Day and the Pride Ski Flag Parade.

Holiday Inn Express signed up to support Winter Pride nearly a year ago, with the hotel only half-way to completion at the time.

Fast-forward to this week and the Holiday Inn Express team has been on the snow, celebrating some of the best spring skiing in years and having fun with LGBTTIA+ visitors from all around New Zealand.

Hotel General Manager Jason Sabin says he and his team have been “beaming ear to ear” all week.

“It’s been great to see the return of Aucklanders and the rest of New Zealand to their favourite fun destination,” he says.

“Yes we’re operating under Level 2 and yes it would have been great to welcome Australian visitors too, but Martin and his Winter Pride organisers and volunteers have done an amazing job.

“The icing on the cake for him and us was the amazing snowfalls and cold temperatures we’ve had in the last few days.

“The skiing and snowboarding has been outstanding, thanks to Coronet Peak, Cardrona and The Remarkables. A highlight for us was supporting the Ski Charity Race which raises funds for the Wakatipu Youth Trust, a not-for-profit working alongside young people in Queenstown.

“We’ve loved every minute and will definitely be back next year!”

Winter Pride festival director Martin King says that in these extraordinary times, support for the festival is “critical” to its survival.

“Holiday Inn Express has been super-engaged and supportive, and them staying with us and standing up for the event at this time has been vital,” he says.

With snow coating the mountains and a brand-new hotel ready and waiting, the timing’s perfect to check out opening special deals still available throughout September and the school holidays (September 26 to October 11).

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown is a 227-room hotel on the corner of Stanley and Sydney Streets, just a short stroll from the resort town’s vibrant centre.

The hotel’s room offering includes spacious suites – a Holiday Inn Express ‘first’ in New Zealand and Australia – in addition to superior rooms with breath taking views of Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range.

It has a warm, stylish vibe, complete with an outdoor lounge with firepit. It’s also equipped with the smart, simple rooms and in-room features that leisure and business travellers have come to know and love.

The hotel delivers on features the Holiday Inn Express brand has become renowned for including an Express Start breakfast, power showers, black-out blinds, high-quality bedding with a choice of pillows and uncapped Wi-Fi.

There’s also a fitness room, sauna, two flexible meeting rooms, self-serve laundry, dry room, onsite parking and a free business centre.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Queenstown is the first and only hotel under the Holiday Inn Express brand in New Zealand to date. 

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Heli Glenorchy acquires Heliworks Queenstown – builds on brand for future

Heli Glenorchy, owned by Action Helicopters Limited and one of the Southern Lakes’ top scenic helicopter companies, has announced the acquisition of Heliworks Queenstown.

Heli Glenorchy director and chief pilot Nick Nicholson and co-director and maintenance controller Blair Christmas said they were proud and delighted to announce the move, which comes into effect today (Tuesday 1 September 2020).

Heliworks Queenstown was founded by the legendary Sir Richard (Hannibal) Hayes, who is renowned for extraordinary feats of search and rescue in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

Meanwhile Heli Glenorchy’s Nick Nicholson grew up in Te Anau and has spent the majority of his flying career in the mountains of Fiordland, the Southern Lakes region and Alaska, including invaluable time spent working for Sir Richard.

Nick’s love and intimate knowledge of flying in the region led him to set up Heli Glenorchy five years ago.

Heli Glenorchy operates from the Glenorchy Airstrip on the doorstep of the Southern Alps, Mount aspiring and Fiordland National Parks. The five-year-old company boasts a modern fleet of helicopters, a 100% safety record, highly-experienced local pilots and access to remote locations with spectacular alpine scenery.

Heliworks Queenstown Helicopters 2012 Ltd has a proven reputation for excellence. It offers a wide range of Queenstown and Glenorchy scenic flight experiences, and provides a range of helicopter services from search and rescue and commercial operations to filming and tourism.

Heliworks Queenstown is also renowned for its proposals and wedding services, working with professional wedding photographers, celebrants and planners to fly wedding parties to unique locations.

Nick and Blair said it was a “privilege” to take the reins of such an iconic brand.

“We’re excited about the opportunity and challenge that lies ahead,” said Nick.

“Hannibal built this brand from the ground up, and I was lucky enough to work beside him for a number of years. Taking this business into the future is now a dream realised, even in these trying times.”

Hannibal said he was proud to see Heliworks Queenstown going into the safe and capable hands of Nick, who he respected both as a former employee and director of another locally-operated and family-owned helicopter company.

“My wife Carol and I are happy to hand on the baton to Nick who we’re sure will continue the good name we’ve strived so long to establish,” he said.

“Nick’s a good kiwi bloke and has a close-knit, talented team including local pilots. They’re specialists in both commercial operations and scenic experiences.

“I’m sure the company will continue as it always has done, offering efficient, high-quality service with safety and professionalism as its highest priority, building on the reputation we’ve established and cherishing our history.”

Sir Richard and Lady Carol Hayes will continue to operate Southern Lakes Helicopters Ltd in Fiordland and the Mount Cook operations.  “We are looking forward to a close working relationship with the new Heliworks team.”

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Fiordland locals encouraged to ‘Host A Holiday’ for friends and family

Fiordland has come up with a unique initiative encouraging locals to invite their friends and family into town, just in time for the September school holidays.

Businesses have jumped at the opportunity to be part of ‘Host A Holiday’, providing locals with something free-of-charge if they bring full paying out-of-towners to their business.

Te Anau owner-operator Christine Wallace from Fiordland Outdoors Company, says getting locals out to experience what Fiordland has to offer, and bring all their friends, is a real win for businesses.

“Word of mouth can be very powerful and we’ve got a lot to see and do in Fiordland, still at a really affordable price.”

Christine’s business, which provides guided tours in Fiordland including water transport for the Milford and Kepler tracks, is one of 17 businesses taking part in the initiative including fellow tourism operators, restaurants, cafes, accommodation providers and even the local cinema.

“We want this community to get back on its feet and help itself. If we all work together it’s amazing what we can do, especially given what we’ve been through.

“We’ve got to keep coming up with these unique ideas because we’re in competition with every corner of New Zealand at the moment and we’re putting up our hand and saying ‘here, pick Fiordland for your next holiday’.”

Christine hopes the initiative will have a flow on effect following the school holidays, providing an opportunity to bring old friends and family together in Fiordland all year round.

As a town which relies heavily on tourism, Fiordland has taken a big hit, first with the floods in February this year followed by Covid-19.

Destination Fiordland General Manager Madeleine Peacock says she’s confident the initiative will give this resilient area another boost.

“It’s all about getting in behind our hometowns, we know why Te Anau Fiordland are special. There’s never been a better time for locals to get out and about in their own backyards and we’re asking them to encourage friends from all around New Zealand to get down here while they can have the place to themselves!

“The scenery, the activities, our great food and accommodation and superb locals welcome have never changed, but with borders still closed there’s never been a better time to explore.

“Bring Mum, Dad, the kids and grandparents, we promise they’ll have a superb time.”

Although locals are being invited to ‘host’ their friends and family, it doesn’t mean they have to stay with them. Visitors are being encouraged to stay with local accommodation providers while in the area.

Locals taking part need to provide proof of residence within the Te Anau Basin, Manapouri or Milford Sound regions and are also being asked to write a review, blog or social media post about the business, to help keep the momentum going.

Business providers include Sandfly Café, Fiordland Outdoors Co, Real Journeys, Cruise Milford, Fiordland Jet, Southern Lakes Helicopters, Habit Foods – Bao Now, Southern Discoveries, Fiordland Cinema, Trips and Tramps, Fiordland Helicopters, Redcliff Café, Faith in Fiordland, Go Orange, The Cinema Suites, Cruise Te Anau and Wings and Water- Fiordland Seaplane.

Terms and conditions will apply and may vary between operators. Free trips will be subject to availability and not in conjunction with other offers. Free offers will vary between providers and will depend on the number of visitors locals bring through the doors.

 

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Largest ever show home opens at Queenstown’s Millbrook Resort

The grandest and most luxurious show home ever built by the developers of Queenstown’s Millbrook Resort is opening its doors this weekend.

Residences on Dalgleish is a collection of five magnificent homes designed by award-winning Mason & Wales Architects, fronting the 4th and overlooking the 7th fairways of the Coronet Nine, bathed in year-round sunshine and with outstanding mountain views.

And while debate rages around whether New Zealand’s property market is going up or down, sales at the high-end golf and lifestyle resort appear to indicate a healthy appetite for homes at the highest end of the spectrum.

The new 405m2 show home is on the market for $5.765million fully furnished — of the different designs available two have already sold while another is under contract.

Millbrook Resort Director of Property and Development Ben O’Malley says sales have been “running hot” since lockdown, adding up to over $15 million in confirmed sales and another $10 million under contract.

“We’re seeing an upswing in buyers from Auckland where there appears to be a mindset that if they’re not going to be travelling, then they’re keen to invest in Queenstown property and enjoy the lifestyle that Millbrook and its surrounds have to offer,” he says.

“It was a new venture for us to build home and land packages of this size, but we were confident that there was a market for larger homes ready to move into. Sales to date vindicate us taking that opportunity.”

The five-home development is made up of two distinct home designs known as the Stirling (show home) and the Braemar which sit on sites averaging around 1,200m2.

Spread over four distinct pavilions, clad in different yet complementary materials including schist stone, glass, timber, steel and slate, the Stirling show home impresses from the outset.

Steel and glass entry doors open up to a spacious entry lobby where a curved stone wall bathed in uplights connects living and sleeping pavilions.

A large wine room has pride of place, and the entrance to the living area is flanked by a sumptuously-decorated semi-circular media room to one side and an office with built in desk, ultra-fast broadband and expansive storage opposite.

The living pavilion is a symphony of light and height, a contemporary interpretation of a Central Otago barn with rich stained soaring cedar ceilings, steel feature trusses and plaster finished walls.

A striking kitchen and scullery with integrated appliances, designed by Rachel Barnes of Ingrid Geldof Design, takes pride of place in the heart of the home, while a steel feature fireplace invites owners and guests to sit back and relax.

The space opens out to three separate terraces to the east, north and west, and a covered loggia with Louvretech roofing features a built-in fire, BBQ and rangehood for the ultimate in outdoor entertaining.

Each of the two-bedroom pavilions boasts a master bedroom and an additional bedroom, perfect for two families buying a holiday home together. All four bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms with a range of freestanding or built-in baths, double or single showers, double basins and some with large dressing rooms. They too have access to outdoor terraces or the loggia, capturing the best of the sun and views at different times of the day.

Another pavilion houses garaging with ample space for two cars and a golf cart, while custom-built ski racks, a drying room and loft storage space means there is plenty of room for holiday sports equipment.

With different bedding configurations available, the show home can very comfortably sleep up to 8 people, all on one level.

Interior designer Roz Hamilton has crafted a stunning aesthetic that is moody and dramatic, with sophisticated use of steel and timber, softened with luxurious furnishings.

Millbrook Resort’s most recent development was the eight-home neighbourhood called The Frontiers. The first four homes are finished and the remaining four are close to completion. Only one of the eight is still for sale.

“We are thrilled with the show home where our design team has collaborated extremely well to achieve what is our most stunning show home to date,” says Mr O’Malley.

“Bamford McLeod Construction has crafted these homes to very high standards and we look forward to people viewing this magnificent property.”

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Homestead Bay welcomes new fun-run series

Homestead Bay welcomes new fun-run series

Queenstown’s Homestead Bay is set to be the stunning ‘home’ of a new, local fun-run series.

The Homestead Bay Run series will comprise four running/walking events for all ages and levels of capability from August to November, managed by well-established events company Active QT.

Homestead Bay is a new lakeside development set on two natural land terraces spread over 45ha, with a kilometer of pristine lake frontage, all-day sun and uninterrupted views of the snow-capped The Remarkables mountain range.

Associate Director Brandon Morley – himself a keen runner — says he is “absolutely thrilled” to offer other runners, families and those looking for an invigorating walk the chance to enjoy what the land has to offer.

“Homestead Bay is the last lakefront development of its kind, which means this is a fantastic opportunity to experience the tranquility and spectacular 360 views right beside the clear blue waters of Lake Wakatipu,” he says.

“The events promise to be a superb community day out, so whether people are keen to take part or just come along and watch they’re encouraged to do so.”

Each Homestead Bay Run event will offer a 5km and 10km walk/run. Adults and children can either enter individual events, or sign up to do all four in the event series.

Active QT Race Director Adrian Bailey, says the location for the series, doesn’t get any better than Homestead Bay.

“It’s the perfect new location because it ticks all the right boxes with wide open space, and stunning views. I’ve spent time on the land scoping out a superb 5km loop track and we’re extremely lucky and proud to have access to this premium spot.”

Adrian began Active QT in 2009 with just one running series and has since created many unique sporting events across the country including triathlons, trail runs, mountain runs, and multisport events.

The first stage of Homestead Bay, featuring desirable north-facing lifestyle blocks of up to 2.49ha in an area called The Peaks, is nearly sold out with just two remaining.

Future plans for the stunning property include 240 new freehold homes, up to 400 apartments, hotel rooms and terraced houses supported by local amenities. There are also plans for a marina alongside the village area to offer a ferry service into Queenstown.

Homestead Bay is located just 15 minutes from Frankton.

Registrations for the Homestead Bay Run are open today: https://www.activeqt.co.nz/event/homestead-bay-run/

Entry prices range between $15 and $95 depending on age and number of events entered. Free entry for children between children under the age of 10.

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