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 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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Crowne Plaza Queenstown rolls out red carpet to welcome first conference business post COVID-19

Crowne Plaza Queenstown rolls out red carpet to welcome first conference business post COVID-19

Queenstown’s premium place to meet, Crowne Plaza Queenstown, has opened its doors earlier than anticipated and is rolling out the red carpet to welcome its first conference post COVID-19.

The iconic lakefront hotel was originally scheduled to re-open in July to welcome domestic travellers for the school holidays and ski season. Instead it opened yesterday (Wednesday June 17) to welcome a conference group from The Icehouse business growth and development company in Auckland.

Business leaders attending the conference from June 18 to 20 all operate businesses turning over $3million-plus, and after completing management programmes with The Icehouse are visiting Queenstown as part of an Owner Manager Exchange (OMX) program.

The Icehouse Customer Relationship Manager Raewyn Goodwin says there was “no better place than Queenstown” for business owners to take a helicopter view of their business and assess growth opportunities in the wake of COVID-19.

“They own and operate businesses that are the backbone of the New Zealand economy so we’re delighted to bring them to Queenstown and support the town,” she says.

Crowne Plaza Queenstown General Manager Stewart Manson says the hotel also made the best a tough situation, using its temporary closure as an opportunity to refresh its conference rooms and carry out a ‘soft touch’ update to its premium Lakeview Rooms. It has also introduced enhanced cleaning and operating protocols under its new IHG Clean Promise in guest rooms.

“Conference and events are key segments for the business mix of the hotel, and we’re delighted to have had the opportunity to open a little earlier than expected to welcome this group,” he says.

“Although recovery from COVID will certainly take a while, this is a positive indicator that there’s demand for meetings.

“A number of new and repeat customers have already confirmed events for later in the year. This is great not just for Crowne Plaza, but other hospitality and accommodation providers in the region.”

Queenstown Chamber of Commerce chair Craig Douglas welcomed the news.

“Queenstown’s home to a vibrant mix of innovative and resilient businesses, and while we recognise we’re on a long road to recovery, we’re happy to celebrate milestones like this.”

Tourism body Destination Queenstown, which last year generated approximately $47million-worth of leads for Queenstown through its own conference and incentive bureau activity, is also delighted with the news.

“Queenstown is a world-class destination for business events, and it’s fantastic to see the recovery begin in this sector,” says interim chief executive Ann Lockhart.

“Conferences, incentive programmes and other business events will play an important role in our district’s recovery.”

ENDS

Picture captions:

1/ Conference facilitator Professor Darl Kolb (L) and Crowne Plaza Queenstown GM Stewart Manson, today at Crowne Plaza Queenstown

2/ Crowne Plaza Queenstown is in the heart of Queenstown on the shores of Lake Wakatipu

For more media information or imagery please contact:

Fiona Woodham
Southern PR
M: 0274 313 270
E: [email protected]

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Beyond Belief – Fiordland targets domestic visitors with call to experience their own backyard

Beyond Belief – Fiordland targets domestic visitors with call to experience their own backyard

While tourism businesses scramble to adapt to the domestic market in the wake of Covid-19, Fiordland’s regional tourism organisation could argue its one step ahead of them all.

Destination Fiordland has always been justifiably proud of its operators and attractions in the lakeside townships of Te Anau and Manapouri, and the raw majesty of Fiordland National Park’s glacier-carved fiords and rugged mountains.

But with many visitors starting and finishing their Fiordland adventures in Queenstown, making a quick pit-stop in Te Anau, the tourism organisation embarked on a brand refresh in October last year.

The goal? To shout loud and clear from those mountaintops that Fiordland exemplifies all that’s good about New Zealand and is a destination in its own right, where locals value their visitors and ‘walk the talk’ about maintaining the world-class natural environment for generations to come.

The new brand ‘Fiordland – Beyond Belief’ was revealed to operators this week, setting out to target domestic travelers from day one and positioning Te Anau as ‘base camp’, while opening the eyes of international visitors to the fact there’s so much more to Fiordland than Milford Sound.

“The launch of our new brand comes at a challenging time, where fortune favours the bold,” says Destination Fiordland manager Madeleine Peacock. “Our challenge was to find a positioning that reflects all this majesty and helps drive visitation by making Fiordland a unique, inspiring, authentic and unmissable part of Aotearoa New Zealand, a place worth visiting.

“Fiordland is a must-see for international visitors but even last year we could see the untapped potential of domestic visitors. We clearly have a job to do at home, and this is a great start.”

Ms Peacock says ‘Fiordland – Beyond Belief’ conveys the scale, grandeur and mind-blowing nature of the area, and applies to everything on offer from the people who call Fiordland ‘home’  to the quality of experiences, accommodation and food, and a deep sense of connection with the environment .

“Our research has identified Kiwis desire to connect with nature, looking for real world experiences in their backyard, connecting with natural environments and ensuring those environments will be protected for generations to come – it’s about who we are as Kiwis.

“Doubtful and Dusky Sounds, the Great Walks and Lakes Te Anau and Manapouri have to an extent been hiding in the shadow of Milford Sound, however these areas are equally as impressive.”

Kerri James, owner operator of award-winning five-star accommodation provider Radfords On The Lake, says she’s “absolutely delighted” with the new brand.

“People down this way epitomise Southern hospitality, and ‘beyond belief’ is the perfect fit to describe Fiordland and everything we have to offer,” she says.

Fiordland Outdoors owner operator Christine Wallace says the brand is in “perfect synergy” with the high-value experience that Fiordland offers.

“The brand communicates a premium location and offering that’s very much in sync with what we do here. It’s very timely when all regions around New Zealand are being considered by domestic travelers,” she says.

Jodi Williams, Air New Zealand’s General Manager Global Brand and Content Marketing, says Air New Zealand has a special connection with Fiordland through its work with DOC to bring back birdsong on the Great Walks, three of which are located in Fiordland.

“Fiordland Beyond Belief helps position Fiordland as a world-class destination, famous for its majestic scenery, and has inspired me to visit this unique and special part of New Zealand,” she says.

Operators are currently being encouraged to incorporate the ‘Beyond Belief’ brand and associated imagery into their marketing and a new website is expected to launch within the next two months.

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Adventure Tourism Operator, Experience Co., Inks Cross-Tasman Deal with IBIS Technology

In a signal of confidence in the post COVID-19 recovery of the tourism sector, Experience Co. Ltd (ASX:Exp) announced today it has selected Queenstown-based IBIS Technology as its tourism business systems software provider for the company’s skydiving operations in both New Zealand and Australia.

The new relationship marks IBIS Technology’s first major reservations, operations and e-commerce software customer overseas.

Experience Co. is New Zealand and Australia’s leading Skydive operator with three skydiving businesses in NZ’s Southern Lakes region, including the world renowned NZONE Skydive, Skydive Southern Alps and Skydive Wanaka.

The company also offers tandem skydiving in 13 locations in Australia and several marine based operations in Far North Queensland.

John O’Sullivan, CEO of publicly-traded Experience Co seeks to ensure the company emerges from COVID-19 stronger than ever.

“Now is the time to reconsider how we are operating our businesses to both streamline operations and improve the holistic experience of the customer with our brands,” he said.

“After a thorough review of tourism business operations systems available in our markets, we chose IBIS because of its integrated ‘whole business’ functionality and 22 years of committed customer support. The IBIS team has deep knowledge of the skydiving and tourism industry and they’re very passionate about that. I look forward to working together as partners with IBIS to help us rebuild New Zealand and Australian adventure tourism in a way that strengthens both our business and the customer experience.”

Founder and CTO of IBIS Erik Bradshaw commented, “We’re excited about the opportunity to work with the brilliant team at Experience Co., both here in NZ and as one of Australia’s largest tourism businesses.”

Bradshaw continued, “IT systems are a mission-critical part of our customers’ success. Recognising this, IBIS has taken a financially conservative approach to managing our own business so that we can be a solid partner to Experience Co. and other customers in these challenging times.

Coming out of the COVID-19 crisis, our goal is to provide tourism and leisure operators the flexibility and tools to respond nimbly to changes in market conditions, from unexpected downturns to re-thinking pricing, scheduling, product offerings and partners.”

Experience Co. will implement IBIS systems this winter, giving staff time to ‘settle in’ before the tourism visitor numbers begin to climb to their new normal.

IBIS Technology has been designing tourism business management solutions for the New Zealand tourism industry since 1998.

Fully NZ-owned and operated, the company has grown from its early start in reservations software to offering an integrated platform for online and direct reservations, admissions, point-of-sale, e-commerce, accounts management and reporting for tourism and leisure businesses large and small.

As the leading tourism business management software company in New Zealand, IBIS focuses on partnering with its clients to ensure that its software and services add value, improving both business and customer experience results.

Experience Co. is an adventure tourism company founded in 1999 in Wollongong, New South Wales, with the vision of now becoming the largest and most respected adventure tourism company in the world.

In Australia, Experience Co. owns and operates Skydive Australia along with several marine and tour businesses operating in Far North Queensland, while in New Zealand they run NZONE Skydive, Skydive Wanaka and Skydive Southern Alps.

 

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‘Koha for kiwi’ – Queenstown’s Kiwi Birdlife Park appeals for visitors

‘Koha for kiwi’ – Queenstown’s Kiwi Birdlife Park appeals for visitors

Queenstown’s Kiwi Birdlife Park usually attracts thousands of visitors every year, and is recognised nationwide for its conservation success stories.

And now it needs New Zealand’s help.

After 34 years of operation, and with the same family at the helm, its international visitor numbers have dried up. Like many others it is targeting its domestic and local markets with great deals and packages to help keep the doors open and wildlife programmes running.

And for the month of June it’s launching an innovative ‘Koha for kiwi’ programme to help raise awareness and keep the wolf from the door.

The Kiwi Birdlife Park is a national treasure — it holds and displays over 23 species of native wildlife as part of nationally-managed programmes, takes part in a number of breed-for-release programmes, and has planted over 18,000 native plants providing essential food and shelter to wild native birds.

Park owner and director Paul Wilson says he is “painfully aware” that tourist numbers will be “very, very low” in the coming months.

“While it’s scary to open the gates for koha donations only in June, we recognise that we need to raise awareness of who we are and what we do with New Zealanders who’re being encouraged to explore their own backyard. We have a product that we are very proud of and this is a great opportunity to share it with as many Kiwis as possible.

“We’re not a government funded facility and are completely reliant on visitors and souvenir sales to fund our conservation efforts, while providing the highest level of care for our endangered native wildlife.

“A few months ago we completed a $1million state-of-the-art new kiwi house but partially because of the Covid situation we’re struggling to get the revenue we need to pay for a significant part of the building cost.

“We visited every kiwi house in the country to make sure we built the best, and now have the largest kiwidisplay house of any Park in the country. Four of our kiwi are scheduled to be released into the wild over the next few months, but we keep some breeding pairs to add to this vital programme.”

The park is the first New Zealand facility accredited by Australasia’s Zoo and Aquarium Association for providing ‘positive animal welfare’.

KIWI BIRDLIFE PARK HISTORY

Nearly forty years ago, a Queenstown-based garage owner had an unlikely ‘vision’ – to build the resort town’s first birdlife and conservation park on an overgrown piece of wasteland.

Invercargill-born Dick Wilson and his wife Noeleen moved to Queenstown in the 1950s and opened their first garage and shop in Frankton. Twenty years later, Dick, a remarkable visionary, realised customers were asking where they could see New Zealand’s famous icon the kiwi.

An animal lover who was passionate about nature and native wildlife, he knew a piece of land was being used as a dumping site for old cars and rubbish on the edge of town. He applied to the Lake County Council to lease the land and was granted the lease for the land and use of a natural spring in the early 1980s. He was 57 years old when his dream project was given the green light.

After removing several tonnes of rubbish, fencing the entire area, clearing 2m-high blackberry and broom canes, building ponds and removing about  100 huge pine trees, Dick and son Paul built aviaries, the first Kiwi house and a ticket office, planting 10,000 native trees.

They contacted the New Zealand Wildlife Service (now Department of Conservation) to see how they could go about sourcing some birds, and two long and hard years later officially opened for business on January 13th1986. The park is still owned by Paul Wilson and his wife Sandra.

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