Yonder is taking cocktail-lovers on a time-travelling adventure

Media Release from Yonder, Queenstown

Queenstown’s new hospitality kid on the block, Yonder, is shaking up cocktails and caffeinated concoctions with a difference.

The café, bar and experimental kitchen is taking customers on a trip down memory lane with old-time classics and impressive coffee pours sure to tantalise tastebuds.

A resurgence in classic ingredients brings the likes of Midori, Malibu and Tequila back to the party to act as the core basics, and made with a compelling difference these cocktails are earning a deserving reputation.

Eye-catching garnishes help build the well-crafted cocktails, married with homemade infusions, and natural replacements like water-bean liquid aquafaba for egg whites ensure even the drinks are vegan friendly.

Other homemade ingredients include old-school favourite hard lemonade (traditionally a mix of vodka, lemon, sugar and water), with a recycled twist to minimise waste at the bar.

Venue manager Darren O’Grady said the ingredients and cocktail names had been crafted to take customers on a “time-travelling adventure”.

“Head bartender Phil and I have been working with a variety of ingredients to create a cocktail list with a distinguishable difference,” he said.

“Our homemade lemonade is incredible. We’ve paired this with our own citrus infused 42 Below vodka and Four Pillars gin with a slice of orange, and the flavours are just insane.

“Times have changed since the insipid sugar hit of forgotten drinks. We’re trialling and testing a number of ingredients to get the right balance and flavour to revive old favourites.”

For coffee-lovers, New Zealand coffee roasters’ Atomic Coffee is the staple ingredient for cocktails with a caffeine hit.

“Die-hard coffee fiends are in for a treat,” said Darren.

“Our retro bright pink Black Eagle coffee machine is producing the goods and we’ve experimented with a variety of flavours to make your next coffee fix an inventive alcoholic tipple.

Atomic Coffee is the best roastery in New Zealand so we felt we would be doing the product injustice if we didn’t fully explore the flavours of the coffee.

“New to the menu is our Cold Brew Espresso Martini. Our homemade cold brew gives the classic drink a lighter character and paired with homemade coffee liqueur, Diplomático rum, vanilla vodka and aquafaba, we’ve created a new coffee sensation.

“The café transforms into a rad little cocktail bar in the evening, which we’re currently in the process of tweaking as we go.

“Our bartenders will have the freedom to ‘take over’ each night to push their revival cocktails of choice. It’s just another fun little twist for our cool new venue.”

Situated in the old McNeill’s Cottage, the café is an intimate spot, whatever the time of day. The small cocktail bar will serve a list of Instagram-worthy cocktails and canned beers such as Lion Red, Panhead and Speights.

Just a stone’s throw away from the hustle and bustle of the lakefront, Yonder director Gary Livesey described the venue as a “welcome escape” from the daily grind.

“The space is oozing with a homely, super-friendly and quirky appeal embracing art, food, coffee culture, music and drinks,” he said.

“Our staff are renowned music-lovers who care about delivering flawless hospitality experiences and it’s great to see likeminded people joining us from morning to night.

“We’re not about low-end or high-end because you just can’t put us in a box like that. It’s all about accessibility, and the guys have done a fine job ensuring our menus are attractive to everyone.

“We’re becoming the perfect spot for socialising, meetings and functions, large-scale music events, or a little bright sanctuary where locals come to unwind after a busy day.”

Picture caption:

1/ An ‘East 8 Hold Up’ is a must-have cocktail at Yonder

Read More

Yonder intrigues and captivates with eclectic interior

Media Release from Yonder, Queenstown

One of Queenstown’s newest eateries is making waves in the resort town’s hospitality scene.

Housed in the historic McNeill’s Cottage, the highly anticipated café, bar and experimental kitchen, intriguingly called Yonder, is captivating locals and visitors alike with its eclectic décor.

Restaurateurs Steve Ward and Gary Livesey have taken interior design to a whole new level of quirky to create a conservatory-inspired space, complete with greenery and mural wall from renowned street artist Andrew J. Steel.

The design duo has combined original cottage features with pastel hues, mixed with “colours of the rainbow” sound-reactive LED lighting to help the venue evolve throughout the day.

The combination might not sound as if it ‘works’ – but surprisingly it does.

“We’ve spent many days and nights designing and dreaming about creating an interesting space for Queenstown,” said Yonder director Gary Livesey.

“It’s all about having a bit of fun, and the layers of the venue are helping us break down a few social boundaries and pre-conceptions.

“The whole premise of this place is the garden conservatory-type feel. We see it as an ‘extension’ of our neighbouring venue, The World Bar, and I’m so stoked to see the ‘garden’ flourish.

“We’ve mixed old with new to embrace the natural beauty of this historic building and by implementing contrasting colours and furniture we’ve helped these old stone walls shine.

“My favourite part about our hidden gem is the natural light pouring in through the skylight reflecting on our mural, all nods to the ‘greenery’ and ‘life’ concepts within the artwork.”

The well-thought-out design reflects an environment that will evolve throughout the day.

The building’s original stone walls cocoon the café situated within the old cottage. Statement features include a timeless pastel pink Victoria Arduino Black Eagle espresso machine, a framed Bill Murray portrait in a commanding position above the fireplace and contemporary furniture.

Brunch or coffee can be enjoyed here or outside in the sun-drenched courtyard to make the most of the all-day rays.

Beyond the main entrance sits a turquoise wooden-panelled bar that spans the length of the room, framed with one-off panels of decorative frosted glass.

A striking gold tap pour covers the back wall, while gorgeous rectangles of Welsh slate, sourced from Arrowtown-based artist Shane Woolridge, communicates ‘what’s on tap’ with chalk-esque coloured printed decal.

Statement photography prints by Queenstown-based Good Buddy Photography, pot plants, mirrors and Steel’s plant-inspired mural decorates the dining space.

The restaurant introduces contemporary elements including a Yonder sign lit up with bright pink neon and bespoke wooden multi-level furniture and booths, with the original old stone wall fireplace in this main room as the feature.

Described by Gary as a “little bright sanctuary”, the natural light from the skylight plays a significant part in creating a charming space for locals and visitors.

“We’re not predetermining what we’re trying to be, ambiguity is really important,” said Gary.

“I’ve been here morning, day and night watching people’s reactions to the space, and really, we’re surprising people with something that’s pretty humble and accessible at the same time.”

Once the sun fully sets, Yonder’s the ‘go-to’ spot for original and interesting acts, performances and events in Queenstown’s buzzy CBD.

Picture caption:

1/ Housed in the historic McNeill’s Cottage, Yonder’s interior is a mix of old and new to embrace the natural beauty of the building

Read More

Lucky charity named – votes are in for Ziptrek’s Locals Day recipient

Media Release from Ziptrek Ecotours

Queenstown’s vibrant community has spoken – rallying together to vote for the voluntary organisation which will receive thousands of dollars from an annual fundraising day.

Multi-award-winning tourism company Ziptrek Ecotours put the ‘power to the people’ in a Queenstown ‘first’ to decide which deserving organisation should receive the proceeds from its Locals Day fundraiser.

Three organisations — Wakatipu Alpine Cliff Rescue, the local high school’s Branches Charitable Trust and the Queenstown Fire Brigade – went head-to-head in the online poll.

With 56% of the votes, the winning cause is the iconic Wakatipu High School’s Year 10 Branches Camp.

Queenstowners will ‘take to the trees’ on Sunday October 29 for heavily discounted trips on the Kea 6-line or Moa 4-line tours, with 50% of proceeds going to Branches.

Ziptrek Ecotours director Trent Yeo said he was “delighted” with the community response.

“With the rise in social media use by locals and visitors, this was the perfect opportunity to take our iconic Locals Day to a whole new level,” he said.

“Ziptrek has been holding locals’ days to ‘give back’ to our community since we launched nearly eight years ago.

“All three of the organisations do a superb job for our community, but we had to go with one and it’s fantastic to see Branches Charitable Trust named as the worthy recipients, voted on by the general public.

“Now we’d love to see their supporters out in force on locals’ day, ‘zipping through the trees’ for hopefully a record-breaking day in aid of such a good cause.”

Branches Camp is a 12-day Wakatipu High School Year 10 outdoor camp held in remote Skippers Canyon. It’s regarded as a ‘rite of passage’ by all past and present students, and the Trust was formed in 2009 by locals concerned with escalating costs of running the camp.

Branches Charitable Trust Secretary Belinda Crichton said they were “over-the-moon” to have won the “people’s choice” vote.

“We’re delighted to receive the recognition for the work we do to keep the Branches Camp affordable for the high school community,” she said.

“We encourage everyone that’s voted to join us for a fun zipline adventure on October 29.

“With a combination of nature and adrenaline, the Locals Day will be the perfect warm-up for Branches Camp!”

Ziptrek has raised a total of $150K to date supporting local groups including Lakes Family Centre, Youth Booth, Wakatipu Search & Rescue, Kiwi Birdlife Park, St Johns Ambulance, Queenstown Scouts and Wakatipu Reforestation Trust.

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 Queenstown Hill on ‘gravity fed ziplines’.

Picture caption:

1/ Queenstown locals will ‘take to the trees’ to raise money for the local high school’s Branches Charitable Trust

Read More

Internationally-experienced marketer embarks on key role for IHG New Zealand

Media Release from IHG New Zealand 

IHG New Zealand has welcomed internationally-experienced Kelly Eichholtz to the position of Area Director of Sales and Marketing New Zealand.

Based at Crowne Plaza Auckland, Kelly is responsible for building and developing InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) New Zealand-based sales, marketing and revenue teams.

Kelly has joined the Auckland team from her previous role as Director of Sales and Marketing at InterContinental Wellington.

Christchurch-born Kelly launched her IHG career in London, spending a total of six years working in sales and marketing for flagship properties, including Crowne Plaza London – The City. She also worked as a key account manager representing 68 properties throughout the UK and Ireland.

Before returning ‘home’ to IHG and New Zealand, she was Director of Business Development at the five-star Hilton London Bankside, as an executive member of the opening team.

Commenting on her appointment, Kelly said she was thrilled about overseeing the company’s New Zealand portfolio.

“It’s an exciting time to be working for IHG in New Zealand as we are fortunate to have a great mix of brands across the region,” she said.

“We have other key developments planned, new properties coming on board and growing markets in Auckland and Christchurch.

“I want to continue to grow and evolve our leading sales, marketing and revenue teams to build a proactive and innovative vision.”

Outside of work, Kelly has a passion for travel, and following her return from the UK is keen to explore the holiday destinations of Asia Pacific.

IHG Area General Manager New Zealand Tim Pollock said Kelly possessed outstanding leadership qualities.

“Kelly’s expertise and experience at an international level, along with her ability to integrate top line strategies, is a substantial asset for IHG,” he said.

“It’s a time for development and growth across the country, and we’re delighted to welcome talent like Kelly at such an exciting time.”

IHG operates six properties in New Zealand including InterContinental Wellington, Crowne Plaza hotels in Auckland, Queenstown and Christchurch and two Holiday Inn properties in Rotorua and at Auckland Airport.

Picture caption:

1/ IHG New Zealand’s new Area Director of Sales and Marketing Kelly Eichholtz


Read More