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QUEENSTOWN • ARROWTOWN • WANAKA

• CROMWELL

Autumn in Arrowtown Paradise Restored Whats New for Winter Festival CEO Debra Lawson Search and Rescue Stories NZ Winemaker Winner

Photo Gilbert van Reenan www.cleangreen.co.nz

qtmagazine AUTUMN 2010


CONTENTS p.30

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this issue autumn 2010 NEWS BRIEF 6. News from around the region PROFILES 9. New CEO for QLDC 10. New lease of life for Paradise Trust homestead EVENTS 10. American Express Winter Festival Big Four 16. Event Calendar around the region 17. Arrowtown Autumn Festival highlights for 2010 SHOPPING 12. New season fashion in store OUTDOORS 15. Queenstown – a mountain biking hotspot

QT Magazine QT Magazine is published quarterly and the next issue is Winter 2010. If you would like to advertise or send story ideas please contact Margo Berryman at BG Media. QT Publishing PO Box 2240, Queenstown Contact details BG Media Margo Berryman e: margo@bgmedia.co.nz Tel: 03 442 6244 M: 021 246 3342 www.qt.co.nz

WANAKA 20. Gilbert van Reenan’s photographic journey 22. Search and Rescue focus in Wanaka CROMWELL 23. Investment in Cromwells Commercial Zone 25. Rudi Bauer scoops NZ Winemaker Award 26. Cromwell businessman sees great future for the town CAFÉ DIRECTORY 27. Café reviews with Jo Blick TASTE 28. Art prosper’s in the Wakatipu 29. Wine expert Alan Brady on local Pinot Noir 30. Mexican delight at Sombreros Restaurant 31. French flair for fine dining at Les Alpes

Managing Editor Margo Berryman margo@bgmedia.co.nz Editor Jenny McLeod mcleod@queenstown.co.nz Design Jo Ruthven jo@fetchnz.com Photography Julian Grimmond julian@bgmedia.co.nz Cover photograph: Gilbert van Reenen www.cleangreen.co.nz

WOOLPRESS ARROWTOWN

Established over 18 years ago, WoolPress Arrowtown is a family run store which provides its customers with the finest quality apparel, knitwear, footwear, accessories and New Zealand souvenirs. WoolPress was the first retail store in the world to stock two of New Zealand’s top brands Icebreaker and Earth Sea Sky.

40 Buckingham Street, Arrowtown. Ph: (03) 442 1355 E: info@thewoolpress.com


NEWS

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with Jenny McLeod AUSSIE SKIERS TARGETED BY INCREASED TRANS-TASMAN FLIGHTS Australian skiers are being targeted by Air New Zealand and Pacific Blue this winter with both airlines increasing their Trans Tasman capacity into Queenstown. Air New Zealand will have 12 direct services a week with six from Sydney, three from Brisbane and three out of Melbourne during the peak July and August periods.

Management course in the Southern Hemisphere. We now offer New Zealand’s only Diploma of Adventure Tourism Management specialising in snowsports management and as part of their diploma students are guaranteed a work placement at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables or Mt Hutt for a season.”

QRC Graduates

Air New Zealand flights from Auckland will also be increased by 30% for the same period with four direct return services a day. Air New Zealand spokesman Glen Sowry says Queenstown is arguably New Zealand’s fastest growing destination for Australian visitors. Five years ago the airline had only four direct flights a week. He says Air New Zealand’s Trans Tasman service has been stepped up with the installation of advanced navigation technology in both the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft. “The Required Navigation Performance technology has proved to be a huge benefit with excellent reliability into Queenstown through some very challenging weather conditions.” Pacific Blue has scheduled two direct flights a week from Brisbane from the end of June until early September, along with their existing twice a week Sydney flights into the resort. QUEENSTOWN HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM STUDENTS WORLD CLASS Graduates from the Queenstown Resort College’s Diploma of Hospitality and Adventure Tourism courses are “world class professionals” according to CEO Charlie Phillips. Thirty five hospitality students and 14 from the Adventure Tourism course graduated at the end of March and Mr Phillips says New Zealand’s future in the adventure tourism and hospitality industries is bright, with the number of talented and motivated young people entering the workforce. He says the Queenstown Resort College is now well established and responding where possible to tourism industry needs. “As an example, through our partnership with NZSki we have just launched the first Snowsports Business

MULTI MILLION DOLLAR PROJECT SHOTOVER ON TRACK The $42m Project Shotover, the largest project currently being undertaken by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, is on track for commissioning in 2013. The waste water to land disposal project will end the current practise of disposing treated wastewater into the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers and is similar to Project Pure in Wanaka. The treatment plant and waste water disposal fields will be located in the existing treatment ponds location next to the Lower Shotover bridge. Queenstown Lakes Mayor Clive Geddes has warned that while the final cost is not known Queenstown ratepayers need to be aware that wastewater rates could potentially double from 2013. “Once we fully understand the cost to households then we will need to make that very clear so that people can plan for the cost in three or four year’s time.”

the research shows beautiful scenery is the most important expectation for visitors to the area. “This emphasis is at least 25% higher than for other regions. Undoubtedly our pristine alpine environment is our competitive advantage. It is fantastic to see, that despite this continued raising of the bar, Queenstown’s perceived environmental performance is once again exceeding national benchmarks. But he says there is no room for complacency and he commended companies who are focusing on sustainability by working through environmental programmes like Green Globe and Qualmark Green. Life Synergy Success The broad appeal of this year’s Life Synergy Expo recently held at Millbrook Resort attracted over 1000 visitors, exhibitors, speakers, attendees and performers. Life Synergy director Margo Berryman says the location provided a relaxed and welcoming environment. “Millbrook Resort created a wonderful backdrop for visitors, locals, friends and family to enjoy a day out together. We had over 80 exhibitors, creative performers and speakers onsite and the day was a true celebration of healthy living in the Wakatipu Basin.” The Life Synergy Expo showcased a wide range of products and services with keynote speakers throughout the day covering everything from Biofuels to Astrology. Millbrook Resort General Manager David Onions says the Expo was a big success. “ We were delighted to welcome everyone to Millbrook Resort to enjoy such a spirited event that covered a broad spectrum of lifestyle options. Millbrook Resort is dedicated to providing a world class health and wellbeing facility and the Life Synergy Expo only strengthens our commitment.”

ENVIRONMENTAL THUMBS UP Queenstown is doing it right environmentally. That’s the word from 97% of visitors who have ranked Queenstown’s overall environmental performance as equal to or better than other regions according to the Regional Visitor Monitor which is an initiative between the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism New Zealand and six of New Zealand’s largest regional tourism organisations. Destination Queenstown CEO Tony Everitt says

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CAVALCADE GOLD The 2010 Goldfields Cavalcade has been a bonus for Wanaka providing over $16,500 for community groups following its grand finale in the town in Mach. The Cavalcade involved nine trails, originating from various locations around the South Island, with each one converging on Wanaka as the final destination. The Cavalcade Host Town Committee which organised the finale, donated just over $4000 to Wanaka Rotary and almost $2000 to the Upper Clutha Rugby Club for their involvement during the event. Other groups to receive funding were the Wanaka Masonic Lodge and the Upper Clutha Women’s Lions.

SUPPORTING THE TRAILS The Wakatipu Trails Trust is looking to the community to help raise $1.8m towards completing the 109km Wakatipu Trail. The Ministry of Tourism has recently granted funds for the Trust to carry out a feasibility study, which will potentially see the Wakatipu Trail included in the New Zealand Cycle Trail, as one of New Zealand’s Great Rides. Trails Trust CEO Kaye Parker says once the feasibility study is accepted, the Government will contribute up to $1.8m towards the $3.6m cost of the trail’s completion.

Cavalcade Host chairman Sophie Ward says the cavalcade highlighted the town’s gold mining beginnings and involved over 600 horses, wagons and participants. ”The support from the local community groups played a huge part in its success and we’re delighted to give something back to show our appreciation.”

She says while the amount to be raised is a major challenge, the Trust is confident it will be achieved. The Queenstown Lakes District Council has budgeted $300,000 over the next three years and community trusts have been approached. “With the community behind us we know we can make it happen.”

GOLDEN HOUR FOR WANAKA SKIER Wanaka based Paralympian Adam Hall’s years of dedication paid off when he beat the best in the world to win the gold medal in the slalom (standing) at the Winter Paralympics in Vancouver.

Josh Emett, Fleur Caulton GM Amisfield Wine Co, Jason Innes Amisfield Chef

Adam (22) was born with spina bifida and has overcome tremendous odds to compete at a high level. His first run in the slalom was well clear of the rest of the field, and despite a fall in the second, he was able to pip his nearest rival and take the top place on the podium.

Kiwi Michelin Star chef Josh Emett’s international reputation as Gordon Ramsay’s second in command was reinforced when he presented a five course degustation lunch at the Amisfield Wine Company’s Bistro in Queenstown recently.

Adam says it has been a 15-year dream to win a Paralympic gold medal and his victory is being hailed as a major coup for New Zealand skiing.

NEWS

MICHELIN STAR KIWI CHEF ON SHOW

Emett has been in charge of Gordon Ramsay’s North American ventures, in his role as Executive Chef de Cuisine at Gordon Ramsay at The London New York and West Hollywood, and is opening Ramsay’s first restaurant in Australia – the maze and maze Grill Melbourne.

EXCEPTIONAL ENTREPRENEUR Queenstown businessman Sir Eion Edgar has been recognised for his philanthropic services winning the prestigious Ryman Healthcare Senior New Zealander of the Year Award. Sir Eion who spearheaded the inaugural Winter Games NZ in 2009 is currently chairman of the Queenstown Resort College and is involved with education, health, youth, community trusts and financial organisations. He says there are many people who do a lot of good work in the community who are not always rewarded. “Hopefully this award will alert people that they can get a lot of pleasure out of helping organisations as I do.”

His exclusive appearance at Amisfield was a sell out and Josh says creating a menu for a “home crowd” was a fantastic experience. “There was definitely a bit of pressure coming home because I’ve been away such a long time. The higher the level you cook the more pressure there is.” While he has been involved in the Gordon Ramsay Empire for the past ten years Emett says he is a very much a Kiwi chef. “Working with Gordon Ramsay has allowed me to develop my own style. There are no boundaries with him and that’s the reason I enjoy it, because I do have so much freedom.” Adam Hall at Vancouver

Gordon Macleod of Ryman and Sir Eion Edgar


OUTDOOR

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BUNGY & SWING

WITH THE BUNGY ORIGINALS KAWARAU BRIDGE BUNGY New Zealand’s first bungy jumping venture was launched at the historic Queenstown Kawarau Bridge in 1988 and today it is still the most popular bungy site attracting thousands of thrill seekers every year. AJ Hackett Bungy is a leading New Zealand adventure tourism operator with more than 500,000 people having bungy jumped at the Kawarau Bridge since it was first opened. The once dilapidated bridge has been restored as part of the original agreement with the Department of Conservation. AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand’s founder Henry van Asch says “when we started out, some thought we were mad and we’d never last, but with the correct response we got we started to get an idea we were on to a great thing. Things went well and DOC was happy so our licence was extended to six months, then five years. Now it’s great to be in a position of being 21 years down the track, and being able to look back and know that so many people have had a great time, and this challenge has changed their lives.”

THE NEVIS ARC The Nevis Arc is the World’s Highest Swing and Queenstown’s latest thrill, located next to the Nevis Bungy. Forwards, backwards, alone or with a friend, adventure seekers are suspended high above the valley floor and then released! The massive rush of adrenaline is a totally mind blowing experience with the acceleration through the valley getting up to speeds in a 300m Arc. Guaranteed to blow you away this is the sister operation to the Nevis 134m Highwire Bungy. The multimillion dollar Arc is a spectacular 125kmh swing accessed from a 70m long suspension bridge and launch pad over the Doolan’s Creek Gorge which is an experience in itself to walk across. The remote area, only accessible by AJ Hackett Bungy 4WD, and the extreme nature of the Nevis ventures is what truly makes this adventure a real Kiwi experience.

THE LEDGE BUNGY

NEVIS BUNGY Australasia’s Highest Bungy, with a 134m drop and 8.5 seconds of freefall it is a serious ground rush! Not for the nervous, this is one truly unforgettable experience. The remote location is only accessible by AJ Hackett Bungy 4WD, and the extreme nature of the Nevis area is a wonder to experience. Known as the “mother of all jumps” this 134m high site is a must do for anyone who wants the ultimate bungy challenge.

The Ledge located on Bob’s Peak and accessed by the Skyline Gondola is the only downtown bungy jumping site in Queenstown. The “craziest” of all the AJ Hackett Bungy ventures The Ledge Bungy, unlike any of the other sites, has a runway to launch jumpers 400m above Queenstown. The special bungy harness allows people to vary their jump styles, even twisting and flipping and the ultimate experience is to bungy from the Ledge at night, with the spectacular lights of the resort below. The Ledge also features the Ledge Sky Swing which adds new meaning to the backyard swing, providing an exhilarating 400m flight above Queenstown. It is the the only night swing in New Zealand and a spectacular way to catch amazing views over Queenstown.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND BUNGY BOOKINGS GO TO THE BUNGY CENTRE, CNR SHOTOVER AND CAMP ST OR PHONE 0800 286 495 WWW.BUNGY.CO.NZ


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PROFILE

Photograph Julian Grimmond

New Chief for Queenstown Lakes Queenstown Lakes District’s new CEO Debra Lawson has to pinch herself every day as a reminder of how fortunate she is to have landed such a significant role in such a unique area. She talked to Jenny McLeod during her first month in the job. Debra’s qualification is in planning and her background is in social regeneration. She is an experienced CEO of some 22 years, most spent with the Wandle Housing Group in South London. But she and her husband Jack had always looked at leaving the UK and establishing themselves in a new country where they would eventually retire. “We both have a sense of adventure and after coming to Queenstown with the U.K. team in 2003 to compete in the age group section of the World Triathlon Championships we fell in love with the place.” An opportunity arose for Jack in the Wellington area several years ago and Debra eventually joined him in New Zealand just over a year ago. “Once here, I began looking for a job to build on my skills after being involved in both the public and private sectors. The Queenstown Lakes District position offered exactly what I was looking for - plenty of challenge, a chance to become part of a dynamic community and within a beautiful environment.” Debra Lawson

Debra is initially focused on getting to know what makes Queenstown Lakes tick. “It’s a time of learning and I need to understand the culture of the place. There is certainly an incredible amount of energy here along with huge ambition and optimism. There is a challenge around conserving our outstanding natural environment, at the same time coping with the push for growth. There is also a very real affordability challenge which I am familiar with.” She recognises that the district “punches above its weight” which is part of the appeal of the job. “I am aware that being CEO of Queenstown Lakes is a big strategic role. I like to be informed and as part of this I want to meet as large a cross section of people as possible,” she says. “I am hugely respectful of the legacy I have taken on and the part everyone on the QLDC staff and in the local community has in that legacy.”Debra wants to “build upon the things people value here” and believes in involving the community. “Decisions that need to be taken sometimes may be unpopular but there will be consultation and I will listen. I am use to working in a tough political environment and feel that after 22 years as a chief executive I have developed a core inner strength.” While she is committed to heading the district in its new era of leadership, Debra will also make time for her favourite sporting pursuits – running, swimming and cycling. She is also a keen artist and at one stage considered art school, but academia won out. “I love to paint, particularly in oils. It’s really an art version of yoga and an excellent way of relaxing.”


EVENTS

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Simon Green

Photograph Julian Grimmond

winter festival all consuming

Simon Green’s name is synonymous with the American Express Queenstown Winter Festival. He has spearheaded the Festival four times and Jenny McLeod writes that after a two year break he is back again in 2010 as Festival Director. You could say Simon Green is the Queenstown Winter Festival’s staunchest supporter. After all he ran the event in 2003, 2004, again in 2006 and 2007 and he is back for more in 2010. He admits it is a bit of a love affair. “Put it this way, the festival is hard to shake off. It gets into your system and it’s all consuming. It’s the only job I’ve ever been in that’s got quite such a grip.” As well as running his own event management company, Simon is an accomplished entertainer, singer and actor and he took a break from the festival in 2005 both for family reasons and to tour with a New Zealand production of Evita. After returning to the festival for the following two years he then switched to his other passion – marketing,becoming involved with project marketing for a local property company. But now he’s back at the festival helm and the question is why? “Even when I stepped back and was no longer involved I was always on the outside looking in and watching the festival’s progress. When my successor Sally Feinerman announced last year she was giving up the job, I felt for some reason inherently responsible,” he

explains. “There was a real risk that all that intellectual property and understanding associated with festival would be lost.” “It had been a tough year last year for the winter festival because of the economic climate and it needed someone who knew the ropes to get involved. There has definitely been a good recovery of sponsor support this year and the message is out there that the festival programme will be fresh and fun and designed with a Queenstown twist to it.” Simon has returned energised and excited about the event. “After two years away I have come back creatively refreshed and with a different perspective on things. What I really enjoy is designing and programming the festival and putting together the right mix of events. It’s all about invigorating it and our major new event ‘Thriller in the Chiller’ boxing contest is a good example of that.” While traditional drawcards such as the Festival Parade, Mardi Gras, Jazz Night, Masquerade Ball, Day on the Bay and Coronet Peak events will still be the face of the festival there are others like the Comedy Debate “taking a rest.” “However we have replaced it with a Comedy Gala. It’s all about having a frank look at individual events and seeing what adjustments and amendments need to be made.” While the Queenstown Winter Festival is all about fun, partying and good times Simon is also keen to educate local people, as to what the festival achieves for Queenstown and the profile it receives nationally and internationally. “With the sponsorship support we have we are about

as close as a community event can get to being self funded and I want people to be aware of how important the festival is to the resort and the need to support it at all levels.” Simon Green is nothing if not dedicated to the Queenstown Winter Festival and the burning question is - will he be back in 2011? “Well,” he laughs, “I did say never again in 2007.”

SPONSOR SUPPORT The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival, named Best Established Event at the 2009 Event Professionals Industry Awards, is continuing to capture the imagination of sponsors who want to be linked with the successful Southern Hemisphere winter party. Festival Director Simon Green says in spite of an economic downturn last year there is still a very high regard for the festival and the sponsors are a major contributor to its success. “When it comes to our sponsorship partners our focus is on building relationships with companies and brands that fit the personality and positioning of the festival. This is why these partnerships last. Long term partners include American Express, Lindauer, Coronet Peak and Gen-I but Simon paid tribute to all the sponsors at all levels of commitment. “Its not just the money from our sponsors that makes the festival possible, it is everything else they do in terms of promotion and awareness which is so significant.”


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EVENTS

KNOCKOUT FESTIVAL EVENT A highlight of the 2010 American Express Queenstown Winter Festival (June 25-July 4) is the Thriller in the Chiller boxing contest where local and national personalities will take it on the chin for charity. The novel event will have its debut on June 27 at the Queenstown Events Centre. Under the control of the New Zealand Professional Boxing Association, contenders will take to the boxing ring for three round bouts, with a charity auction on the night raising funds for the festival’s official charity the Bruce Grant Youth Trust.

Festival Director Simon Green says there is plenty of rivalry between local businesses and operators who will go head-to-head in the ring. “All the local contenders will be match ready after undergoing a four week boot camp followed by an intense 12 week fitness and training programme. It will be an incredible, sort of ‘bucket list’ encounter for a lot of people who are not experienced boxers, and we are ensuring that all the bouts are evenly matched.” A drawcard will be the bout between former Kiwi rugby league star Tawera Nikau and TV2 Lotto presenter Russell Harrison who have unfinished business after Tawera’s win when they met in Rotorua last year. Other celebrities will also battle it out before an anticipated 1000 strong crowd. “This is an event that will appeal to a big cross section of people and as well as three hours of boxing entertainment it will be the chance for a great social get together for locals and people from out of town,” says Simon. The Thriller in the Chiller is being billed as one of the festival’s Big Four. The others in the line up are The Comedy Gala which will include stand up comedy acts and a finale of Jeremy Corbett’s TV3 show Seven Days live on stage, the Lindauer Jazz Night at Skyline, and the Lindauer Masquerade Ball. The festival opens on June 25 with the traditional American Express Opening Party in Central Queenstown followed by fireworks in Queenstown Bay. “From opening night until closing day on July 4 there will be an action packed programme of events in Queenstown and on Coronet Peak. Festival goers can expect anything from opera to rail jam action on Earnslaw Park.”

Photograph Julian Grimmond

CATWALK CALLS The American Express Queenstown Winter Festival is about community involvement and the Lindauer Fitness and Fashion Challenge, launched last year, targets local women to get into the spirit of the event. Twelve women have been selected to take part in a 12 week fitness training, nutrition and choreography programme culminating in the Lindauer Ladies Fashion Afternoon on June 28. During the 12 weeks the participants are coached with the ultimate goal of walking the catwalk before a large festival audience.

Festival Director Simon Green says it is exciting to have the Challenge back in the programme this year. “It was a life changing experience for the women who took part last year and the Fashion Afternoon was also a huge hit. The community got right behind it and it was moving to see the results and the new found confidence of the women involved.” The Lindauer Ladies are being trained by the Funktional Fitness team at Frankton’s Alpine Health and Fitness Centre and Decode fashion store is co-ordinating the fashion wear for the catwalk.


FASHION

12 BURNING HOT FASHION AT IKON

Firetrap is defined by the London look and attitude. It’s a mirror to the British city’s design style cool. This season’s winter collection is defined by a “lost world mentality.” Gold, black, tight and aggressive, the Firetrap layered styling is perfect for day to night and night to day….. very rock n roll.

IKON WELCOMES COOL NZ LABEL Huffer has arrived at Ikon. One of New Zealand’s fastest growing fashion labels can now be bought in Arrowtown and the girls at the Ikon store are loving it. Store manager Lou says it’s a beautiful thing to pop on a Huffer hoodie – “it feels good and looks even better and the range includes a feminine twist for winter.” And what are the Huffer boys saying about the 2010 collection? “We teamed up with Kristine Crabb to present a hot, fresh and beautifully feminine and fashionable range of modern sexy classics for the women’s wear zone and we are calling the men’s range FLY. Check it all out for yourselves at Ikon.”

FASHION FORWARD AUTUMN 2010 SEASONAL FASHION GLORY

All the fashion favourites are back in style for 2010 at Wallace and Gibbs CHOCOLAT – it’s all about “the invitation” this winter so if you’re off somewhere special chances are the OBI label will have the perfect outfit. Soft wraps and dusters made from a mohair blended gauze are a must have accessory or try the fantastic long shirt teamed up with plain or striped leggings or a pair of jeans. And modern classics like the “little red Vespa” look of white shirt, Italian wool flannel blazer and smart pants will take you anywhere this autumn. OBI The printed Capsule range provides timeless garments that are recession busters with an exciting range of high quality fabrics and colours. Printed tencil wool is a winter version of the printed T and great to wear with woolly tights and boots or under your favourite tunic or coat. The luxury fabrics define a strong designer look in colour tones of grey, ash, petrel, red, olive and hemp.

CATALYST The Atelier Collection from Catalyst this season is inspired by head designer Jane Laird Pick’s fascination with shape and form. Feminine and masculine shapes have been mixed with modern styling resulting in a grab bag of sporty, sexy and sweet fashion items to choose from. Have some fun with Catalyst.

these boots were made for walking....Ex-musician rock chick and style icon, Paula Yates, would have loved these boots. New to Ikon for the winter season are the latest ‘Terra Planna’ handmade boots, made from environmentally sustainable materials such as recycled rubber, vegetable tanned leathers and recycled Pakistani quilts. These 21st century artisan boots are individual and bohemian but use modern technology with eco credentials that will reduce your very own carbon footprint.


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PARADISE FOUND Paradise House restoration

Paradise Valley at the head of Lake Wakatipu was an integral part of the early tourist route and visitors flocked to stay at Paradise House. After years in disrepair the old guest house has been restored, and as Jenny McLeod found out, is now attracting visitors again. Paradise is aptly named. The spectacular location in the Dart River Valley between Mt Alfred and the western face of Mt Earnslaw is renowned for its scenic beauty and its natural and historic appeal. Today it remains unspoiled and has a significant place in Wakatipu’s heritage. Paradise House was designed and built as a retreat in 1883 by New Zealand’s first architect, William Mason. Ill health forced him to sell the property several years later to the Aitken family who converted the home to a guest house, attracting guests from around the world and pioneering environmental tourism at the head of the lake. Paradise House vigorously competed for tourist business with the neighbouring Arcadia House and the two Glenorchy hotels from the 1890s until the early 1940s when the Aitkens sold out to Arcadia owner Lloyd Veint. The Veints continued to run Paradise House as a guesthouse for another five years or so, before the property passed to new immigrant Hugh Miller in 1949, remaining in the family until his son David Miller died in 1998. David Miller had a long term vision to protect Paradise from commercial influence, making it widely accessible to Queenstown Lakes residents and visitors as a remote holiday spot. To this end he initiated the establishment of the Paradise Trust, to take over the property following his death. Queenstown lawyer Tom Pryde was charged with forming the six member Trust which is chaired by Bill

Dolan of Arrowtown. Both had strong connections with Paradise and the Miller family, holidaying there with their families for many years. While the Trust initially struggled to fund any major improvements, an arrangement with Dart Stables to graze their horses and run tourist trips from Paradise, along with the increasing use of the site as a film location in particular Lord of the Rings sequences, kick started progress. “These ventures gave us some cash flow and we were able to turn our attention to upgrading some of the cottages, although they will always remain basic and without electricity, because that’s part of their charm,” says Bill. “The larger project was to restore the homestead precinct which comprises the original Paradise House, surrounding outbuildings and garden. The conservation, repair and refurbishment project has been done under the guidance of Queenstown conservation architect Jackie Gillies with the supervision of the Historic Places Trust.” The Central Lakes and Otago Community Trusts and the Lotteries Grants Board have contributed to the $900,000 project and the seven bedroom house will open to its first guests at Easter. “The full circle has been turned with the re-opening of Paradise House,” says Bill. “It is not an accommodation place as such, rather it is a resource centre for use by groups for workshops, retreats and similar purposes. Our goal is for the house to be used as a characterful place again and we are excited about its future.” When Paradise House is officially re-launched on April 24 it will be a community celebration. “As guardians of David Miller’s Paradise vision we feel have been true to it,” says Tom. “We think he would approve of the commitment that has been made to continuing to provide a unique place, where people can ‘chill out’ and appreciate the outstanding cultural, historical and environmental features of Paradise and the surrounding region.”

PROFIILE


OUTDOORS

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Southern New Zealand is a land of incredible diversity. In a day trip from Queenstown you can experience stunning fiords, view dense rainforest or travel by vintage steamship to a high country farm.

Stirling Falls, Milford Sound

Discounted uise overnight cr ble la ai rates av mid-April to May!

TSS Earnslaw & Walter Peak

Milford Sound

Doubtful Sound

Launched in 1912, Queenstown’s vintage steamship TSS Earnslaw is the largest and grandest vessel ever to ply Lake Wakatipu. Cruising on the “Lady of the Lake” is like stepping back in time. Below deck, the steam engines hiss and thud as the stokers shovel coal into the glowing fireboxes. In the wheelhouse, the skipper still uses the traditional telegraph bells to communicate orders to the engine room below. The TSS Earnslaw departs from Steamer Wharf every two hours from 12noon to 4pm for scenic lake cruises across beautiful Lake Wakatipu to Walter Peak High Country Farm. On arrival, stay on board, or disembark to experience high country farming life. Walter Peak High Country Farm is beautifully sited on Lake Wakatipu’s south-western shores, with a stately homestead and extensive lakeside gardens. The Farm Excursion includes a walking tour of the farmyard as well as a sheep-shearing demonstration and the chance to watch sheep dogs at work. Visitors are also treated to a traditional morning or afternoon tea including freshly baked scones and pikelets with cream.

Milford Sound is a world-renowned natural wonder. Nowhere else in Fiordland do the mountains stand so tall, straight out of the sea. Day visitors can explore the full length of the fiord on a relaxing Real Journeys Nature Cruise, accompanied by a specialist nature guide. The cruise includes plenty of time to pause to view fur seals, or to take in the grandeur of the fiord’s huge waterfalls. Between September and May, join an Overnight Cruise, and spend the afternoon exploring by kayak or small boat before mooring in a secluded cove for the evening. Accommodation on board ranges from private ensuite cabins to bunk-style compartments.

Doubtful Sound is a massive wilderness area of rugged peaks, rainforest and twisting, hidden fiords - all deep in the heart of Fiordland National Park. This region is home to bottlenose dolphins and fur seals - both of which are often seen. In season, you may also catch a glimpse of the rare Fiordland crested penguin. Doubtful Sound is inaccessible by road. But local company Real Journeys operates daily excursions into the fiord, led by specialist nature guides with a passion for the area’s flora and fauna. The daytime excursion (Wilderness Cruise) begins with a cruise across the crystal waters of Lake Manapouri. You’ll then travel by coach on the alpine road over Wilmot Pass, pausing to view some of Fiordland’s densest rainforest. Upon reaching Doubtful Sound, you’ll board a modern catamaran for a three-hour cruise exploring the waterways of this serene and isolated fiord. In the warmer months, between September and May, you can explore even further on an Overnight Cruise. Join the nature guide and go kayaking or exploring by small boat. Then enjoy a hearty three-course meal before falling asleep to the sound of lapping waves. Both daytime and overnight cruises have coach connections from Queenstown and Te Anau.

The TSS Earnslaw will be on survey from Friday 28th May until Monday 5th July this year. During this time a launch will substitute.

Getting there: Flying between Queenstown and Milford is the ultimate way to experience southern New Zealand’s dramatic alpine scenery. Visitors can choose to fly both ways, or fly back to Queenstown after taking a luxury Real Journeys coach to Milford. Coach connections are also available from Te Anau.

For more information please contact Real Journeys Real Journeys Visitor Centre, Steamer Wharf, Queenstown

Freephone 0800 65 65 03

www.realjourneys.co.nz


Photograph Patrick Fallon

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MOUNTAIN BIKING MECCA Kiwis are very fond of their bikes. In 2008 New Zealand imported more bikes into the country than cars! Queenstowners are no exception to this two-wheeled love affair and the roads and ranges around the town offer plenty of terrain for everyone from the expert to the beginner as Jo Blick writes. Like skiing before it, mountain biking has huge tourism potential and it’s rapidly becoming apparent that there could be excellent financial spin offs for establishing Queenstown as a world mountain biking destination. Lance Brown of the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club has been leading the charge to co-ordinate the development of the local mountain bike scene. Since 2003 the organisation has spent thousands of volunteer hours building tracks and developing key areas for biking. “We’ve currently got a good base of facilities and the potential to expand these is huge,” he says. “Already we’re seeing an increase in tourists coming for biking and more and more mountain bikers from the Northern Hemisphere are basing themselves here in their off season.” Lance compares the mountain biking market with the ski market.

“Like ski bums, you get bike bums but there is a high end of the market too, wanting to take part in activities like heli-biking. We’d like to see organisations such as Destination Queenstown market the town as a biking destination. What happens here in winter needs to happen here in summer.” His sentiments are echoed by local mountain bike guru and former New Zealand representative Tony Moore, who says to date the increase in numbers visiting Queenstown specifically for mountain biking, has happened in an ad hoc way. “The international visitors have been coming for a while but around five or six years ago they started to turn up in droves, all driven by word of mouth. And of course the club has played a significant part in drawing people here.” Tony firmly believes Queenstown has the right attitude as far as mountain biking is concerned “This area has the potential to become a mini Mecca for riders in the same way it is for snow sports. We have the right food, speak the right language and we’re used to welcoming visitors.” With people like Lance Brown and the team from the Queenstown Mountain Bike Club involved, it’s highly likely Queenstown will achieve international status as a mountain biking destination – an exciting milestone for a bunch of volunteers who ultimately only sought to create safe and legal mountain biking tracks for local riders.

OUTDOORS


EVENTS

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EVENTS

APRIL April 1 Around New Zealand Air Safari 2010 Venue: The Air Safari flies into Queenstown at the Wakatipu Aero Club. Join 70 aircaft & 230 aviators. View the planes, helicopters & enjoy the spirit Phone: 07 3778499 www.flyingnz.co.nz April 2 Lake Hayes Triathlon Series final. Duathlon & team options. Venue: Lake Hayes Contact: Gemma Boyle Phone: 03 441 1025 www.salomonsoutherntriseries.co.nz April 2-4 Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow 2010 Contact: Warbirds over Wanaka Phone: 03 443 8619 www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com April 3 New World Tour de Wakatipu Cycle Race Venue: Start, Millbrook Resort; End, Chard Farm Winery Contact: Southern Traverse Phone: 03 441 8215 April 10 Rebel Sport Super 14 Highlanders v Western Force Venue: Queenstown Events Centre Contact: Lakes Leisure www.lakesleisure.co.nz

April 10 Malvina - My Life in Song Dame Malvina Major, New Zealand’s celebrated opera diva Venue: Queenstown Memorial Hall Organisation: Lakes Leisure Phone: 03 450 9105 www.lakesleisure.co.nz April 12-16 Wanaka Autumn Arts Festival An annual art school catering for 200 people. Contact: Robyn Van Reenen Phone: 03 443 1810 www.cleangreen.co.nz

April 13-22 Oliver Showbiz Queenstown celebrates 50 years of this classic stage show. Venue: Queenstown Memorial Hall Contact: Hilary Finnie Phone: 03 442 0441 April 24 Contact Epic Circumnavigation of Lake Hawea near Wanaka. NZ’s longest mountain biking event Contact: Dannielle Nicholson Phone: 0274 595 106 www.lakehaweaepic.co.nz

April 16-25 Arrowtown Autumn Festival A 10 day festival celebrating Arrowtown’s spectacular autumn colours. Venue: Arrowtown Contact: Deborah Husheer Phone: 027 2101570 www.ArrowtownAutumnFestival.org.nz

JUNE

April 17-18 New Zealand Cricket Players Association Masters Two-day cricket match at the Queenstown Events Centre. Free entry. Contact: Queenstown Events Centre www.lakesleisure.co.nz

June 25- July 4 American Express Queenstown Winter Festival The Southern Hemisphere’s ultimate winter party Venue: Queenstown and Coronet Peak Contact: Mandy Kennedy Phone: 03 441 2453 www.winterfestival.co.nz

June 19 Rustic Run/Walk 5.25 km laps through the Historic Kawarau Mining Village Venue: Goldfields Mining Centre, Cromwell Contact: Glen Christiansen Phone: 03 445 1777


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EVENTS

Celebrating Autumn in Arrowtown Festival on the Green

Autumn is Arrowtown’s most spectacular season and for quarter of a century the Arrowtown Autumn Festival has been a celebration of both autumn and the local community writes Claire Hazeldine. 2010 is the festival’s 26th year and Festival Co-ordinator, Deborah Husheer says the programme has all the ingredients for a fun filled, action packed ten days. “The festival will be officially opened with the annual art exhibition at the Lakes District Museum on April 16 and there will be a massive 60 events during the festival including special favourites like the Street Parade and Autumn Ball.” The street parade on April 17 will cater for 40 floats followed by the arts and crafts, farmers and gourmet market with over 120 stalls featuring all New Zealand made products. Deborah says this is traditionally the festival’s biggest day attracting between 7000 – 8000 people to Arrowtown. “We’re also very excited about some events that are new to the festival this year including High Tea with cooking guru Jo Seager and the wearable arts show ‘Mactodd Art 2 Wear’”. “Local choreographer Anna Stuart is

choreographing the show,” she says. It’s going to be a fantastic display and a great night out.” “High Tea with Jo Seager, one of New Zealand’s highest profile cooking celebrities, will be a very popular event. It’s going to be a very informal afternoon where people can head along to Millbrook Resort and basically have a chat with Jo over delicious tea and scones.” Most of the festival events are free to attend and Deborah credits the support of the local community and local sponsors for helping create such a diverse programme. “The Arrowtown Scouts are organising the 70s Disco Inferno, with all proceeds going towards their Jamboree fund. This is a great example of a community group coming together and supporting the festival while also being able to fundraise for a good cause.” Arrowtown’s cancan girls, the Buckingham Belles, and the Miners band which always thrills the crowd playing on the back of a vintage truck, will provide entertainment each festival lunchtime. “These two groups are a real hit with the tourists who love the performances and being able to be so much a part of it,” says Deborah. There is plenty of children’s entertainment including a treasure hunt on mountain bikes, a clown show, the Community Harvest Picnic by the Arrow River and much more. For a full programme and more information on the 2010 Arrowtown Autumn Festival visit www.arrowtownautumnfestival.org.nz.


ARROWTOWN

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ARROWTOWN - CELEBRATING THE SEASON Arrowtown comes alive during autumn with the change of season marked by the village’s trees and shrubs turning from green to gold. Margo Berryman visited the historic town.

delicatessen foods, a European style chocolate store and an international sweet shop add to the eclectic mix. Up-to-the-minute international fashions can be found in several boutique clothing stores, alongside high quality furniture and interior design shops, gold and jade jewellers, childrenswear, gift stores and art galleries.

Autumn’s beauty is renowned amongst the many local and overseas painters and photographers who regularly visit Arrowtown and the Lake Hayes area to capture the spectacular display.

Arrowtown’s unique goldmining history is on display at the Lakes District Museum where regular art exhibitions are also held highlighting the work of local artists. A modern reading and research room and a fascinating streetscape can b found in the Museum precinct.

The Arrowtown Autumn festival celebrates the annual changing of the colours, and people are encouraged not only to join in the festivities, but also to take advantage of some of the area’s well maintained walking tracks. Walking maps are available from the Lakes District Museum and gold pans can be hired from a number of shops to allow people to try their luck in the once rich gold bearing Arrow River. Popular walks include Tobin’s Track, Lake Hayes Track and Sawpit Gully. Afterwards Arrowtown is the ideal stop for refreshments to wind down the day. Arrowtown has a good selection of contemporary cafés and restaurants dotted along its main street, many providing patio and courtyard dining. Quality

Excellent facilities are available for families holidaying in Arrowtown. The community swimming pool is open daily, a children’s park and playground is adjacent to the pool providing an attractive picnic area and a skateboard park beside the Arrow River offers endless fun for youngsters. The Chinese Village on the banks of the Arrow was rebuilt following an archaeological dig and is an important historical attraction close to town underlining the lifestyle of early Chinese gold miners. Arrowtown is on the doorstep of world-class Central Otago wineries and golf courses and the golden colours of autumn provide the perfect backdrop for a visit to a town “born of gold.”


Photograph Julian Grimmond

NEW IMAGE FOR HISTORIC ARROWTOWN CHURCHES A wandering 19th century church has a permanent home beside the original miners’ cottages in Arrowtown, clearing the way for the construction of a new $1.4 million community hall next to the historic St John’s Presbyterian Church. James Beech reports. The historic neigbourhood occupied by the Granny Jones, Adams and Romans miners’ cottages on Arrowtown’s Buckingham Street will be reinforced following approval for the 139-year-old wooden hall, at the rear of St John’s Church, to be relocated to the precinct. The hall was originally the Miller’s Flat church on Malaghan’s Road beneath Coronet Peak and was moved to Speargrass Flat Road in 1950. In 1959 it was shifted once again and added to the rear of St John’s in Arrowtown as a church hall. Its removal to its final site will give it long term protection and at the same time make way for a modern community hall next to St John’s. Moving the old church and getting started on the new $1.4m hall project after five years will be ‘’a

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ARROWTOWN

The Arrowtown Trust which oversees the miners’ cottages has found 21st century uses for the properties by leasing them to professional tenants and a café operator. Trustees plan to put new life into the Miller’s Flat church possibly as an art gallery or similar venture. The planned new hall will complement the 136-year-old white stone St John’s church and its surroundings. It will seat 150 people and a feature is a main hall which could expand into two adjoining lounges. Other resources will include a kitchen, foyer, store room, office and toilets, plus sound and data projection technology. St John’s Church

huge relief,” according to St John’s Restoration and Building Committee chairman Bruce Patton. ‘’The whole process has been very, very long, longer than anyone expected. It was always going to be difficult because of the sensitivities of the buildings on site. Then there was the issue of what to do with the Miller’s Flat church because it had to go to a suitably approved site as well,” he says. ‘’The timing is fortuitous. I can’t think of another location which would have been approved by the Historic Places Trust. Its future is protected.’’

The parish launched a public appeal to raise $1.4 million towards St John’s restoration and the new hall’s construction in October 2009. Support has come from the Central Lakes Trust, the Community Trust of Southland, the Otago-Southland Presbyterian Synod and local donations with about 194,000 left to raise. It is hoped to start building in May this year and have the new hall finished by Christmas. “There’s a need for it. The demographics of Arrowtown have changed and there’s lots of young families, so we see this hall as an asset for those children as they grow up,” says Bruce. “It gives the church the opportunity to expand its activities to provide an outreach to parents and families.’’

www.thegoldshop.co.nz e: goldshop@xtra.co.nz


WANAKA

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POWERFUL PHOTOGRAPHY

CORNER HELWICK & DUNMORE STREETS, WANAKA

• Great range of magazines, books & stationary • International phone cards • Copy and fax services • Gifts, novelties and toys • Lotto OPEN DAILY 8.30am-7pm Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm Sun.

Photography Gilbert van Reenen - Central Otago

Gilbert van Reenen’s powerful images of the Central Otago landscape have won him numerous awards and are now earning him an international reputation. Viv Milsom caught up with him in Wanaka. Gilbert, who is a vet by profession, has been working as a full-time professional photographer for the last five years, but photography has been a lifelong pursuit. “I’ve only had a modicum of formal training in photography, but through the Wanaka Autumn Art School, over the last 20 years, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some of the best practitioners in New Zealand and Australia and it has become a way of life for me, rather than a job.” “The school provides a big melting pot for ideas, which for me are everything,” he says. “When I make a photograph I try to find the essence of the vision or idea and communicate this through the work.” Gilbert’s work is available online at www.cleangreen. co.nz and he is in the process of developing a new searchable site at www.vitalimages.co.nz “It’s a big project for me. I’ve got over 800 images on the site now, but plan to have about 25,000 eventually. These photographs can be downloaded for commercial and other purposes,” he says. “My first sale was to a publisher in Slovakia and last week I supplied several images to Air Tahiti, a NZ Seafood distributor in Europe and a home insulation company in Adelaide.”

FOR ART’S SAKE The Wanaka Autumn Art School, which began with just five classes to give locals an opportunity to work with tutors from outside the Wanaka region, is now in its 21st year and is a runaway success -thanks largely to co-ordinator Robyn van Reenen, who’s been organising the school since the outset. This year the school runs from April 12-16 offering 16 courses led by tutors from Australia, United States and New Zealand including Queensland-based wood sculptor Don Powell, and Australian intaglio printmaker Ron McBurnie. “I’m constantly on the look-out for new tutors who are competent teachers, as

Another recent contract saw him travelling to Australia to supply the décor art work for a resort at Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley. He’s done a similar job for the new Wyndham Resort Hotel in Wanaka. “It’s been successful for me because people who’ve seen my work there, have then wanted to buy the photographs for themselves.” He also recently completed an assignment for Cuisine Magazine in Croatia. Gilbert has successfully published books of his own work, and has illustrated two books by celebrated Central Otago poet and essayist, Brian Turner. There are several more proposals for books in the pipeline. He and Brian Turner share a common vision for the environment. “I’m interested in protecting the landscape and encouraging sustainable practices and attitudes and my images can draw attention to what is precious in our landscape.” Another collaborative project has seen him exhibiting his work alongside West Coast printmaker, Liz Hawker, in an exhibition at Haast called “Stranded.” He has provided photographs to accompany her engravings and prints, which relate the fascinating survival story of ten sealers shipwrecked on the Open Bay Islands, near Haast 200 years ago. As Gilbert makes his mark as an international photographer of note, what makes his achievements all the more remarkable is the fact that nine months ago he lost sight in one eye. “That was the consequence of a detached retina and now affects my 3-D vision somewhat, however I’m determined to keep making enduring photographs. I’ve still got so much to achieve.”

well as established practitioners in their field,” says Robyn. “I find that of all the courses the drawing and painting ones always fill up first.” Courses range from painting and printmaking to textiles and fly tying. New courses are keenly sought after amongst participants and this year calligraphy with Australian, Olive Bull, has attracted strong interest. When she is not devoting her time, energy and inspiration to the next art school, Robyn, who is a quiltmaker of some note herself, is fully committed to Christopher Robyn Quilts, her fabric and craft supplies shop she runs in partnership with Chris Bartlett, near Wanaka.


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Phil Melchior (right) and Gary Dickson Mount Cook

Wanaka Search and Rescue Upbeat When Phil Melchior joined Wanaka’s Search and Rescue team as treasurer and fundraiser five years ago the organisation owned little more than a “strop and a stretcher.” Today things are vastly different as Viv Milsom explains. Thanks largely to Phil, Wanaka Search and Rescue (SAR) now has its own facility in Wanaka and full sets of equipment for alpine, bush, marine and swift water rescues. He’s reluctant to be singled out though, and is quick to praise the “bunch of incredibly good people” in Wanaka for their backing. “We’re seen as a good cause and have strong funding support from the Wanaka community.” Significant funding has also come from the Lotteries Grants Board, the Lion Foundation and the Otago Community Trust. “While raising money for equipment is pretty easy, it’s much more difficult to raise money for training, where there’s no visible result,” he says. “Because 96% of all our operations involve using helicopters, we need to train our people to work safely with the pilots in what are inherently dangerous situations.” It costs about $2,000 an hour to run a helicopter, according to Wanaka SAR coordinator, Sergeant

Aaron Nicholson. With the need for training time to maintain skill levels, this is an on-going funding challenge for the local organisation. Phil’s contribution to Wanaka SAR has not just been limited to fundraising. He’s also served time as secretary, and is a member of the management and bush, search and rescue teams. With a background in management, he is also currently the national chairman of LandSAR. Wanaka SAR secretary Anna Brent says “Phil is skilful in a lot of areas. He’s an all-round good person and his efforts have taken our operation to another level.” A keen tramper and climber Phil originally became involved in Wanaka SAR because he thought he might “need these guys one day.” “For me personally it’s been a fantastic experience but I don’t think you should stay in a role too long. Committees need to change their personnel,” he says, but doesn’t discount the idea that he could take on a different job with SAR. And Wanaka SAR will no doubt hope he does. As one of the busiest SAR operations in the country, the skills and efforts of the Wanaka SAR team are in constant demand, and while so far this season there’s been only one fatality in the region, after a tramper fell in the East Matukituki Valley late last year, it has been a busier year for minor searches and operations. When he’s not involved in SAR, Phil loves to get out into the mountains. He has summitted Mt Aspiring and last year, to celebrate turning 60, climbed to the top of Mt Cook, despite a bad hip which is due for replacement later this year. Helping and mentoring him in his climbing challenges has been his mate from Wanaka SAR’s highly respected alpine rescue team, Gary Dickson. The pair are off to Switzerland soon for some summer climbing, and although Phil says he hasn’t decided on his next challenge yet, undoubtedly there will be one. But one thing is for certain – Wanaka SAR hasn’t finished with him yet!

Phil Melchior Mount Cook

WANAKA


CROMWELL

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HUB OF CENTRAL OTAGO

Cromwell’s Flagship Development

Arrowstone is a property investment group of companies specialising in industrial and commercial properties and has targeted Cromwell as a key area for its New Zealand portfolio because of its strategic location as Central Otago’s business hub.

Cromwell’s McNulty Road Precinct is setting exceptional new standards in industrial development creating an appealing gateway to the Central Otago township. Jenny McLeod reports.

New Zealand Director Ben Robbie says Cromwell’s industrial area is ideally located as a base for companies servicing Queenstown, Wanaka and Alexandra because of the relatively short distances to each centre.

Cromwell Community Board Chairman Neil Gillespie says the vision of both the Board and the Central Otago District Council was for an upmarket style subdivision with modern industrial park style buildings.

“Economic and population growth in the region has put significant pressure on available land suitable for industrial, and particularly warehouse development, in Queenstown and Wanaka. The cost of living, especially housing costs has impacted on working families in the main tourist centres in the region, hence the emergence of Cromwell as a cost effective place for companies and businesses to secure premises and service the region.”

“The council initiated its own subdivision in the area which reflected these ideals and provided the impetus for developers to follow. We have certainly moved away from the old galvanised tin shed type of complex and we are delighted with the result.”

Arrowstone’s recently completed McNulty Central showroom complex is in a prominent site on Cromwell’s McNulty Road and has a strong visual impact. Designed and built by the prominent construction company, Apollo Projects of Christchurch, it incorporates Kingspan insulation products, widely recognised as leading sustainable materials used to achieve energy savings and provide efficient temperature controls. “The complex is the strongest retail warehouse location in Cromwell,” says Ben. “The units range in size from 165sqm to 220sqm and the spacious showroom areas have great exposure to McNulty Road and the open mezzanine areas have the flexibility to suit any venture.”

The McNulty Road industrial subdivision is being hailed as a flagship for Cromwell with its purpose designed buildings highlighting a fresh, contemporary image.

He says companies like Arrowstone have made a significant effort to design buildings, such as McNulty Central, to blend with the surrounding landscape, enhancing the overall appearance of the industrial area. “Their buildings and those of other developers have contributed to a much smarter than average industrial area. This is now recognised as a main entrance into Cromwell, rather than the back door, and we are confident the entire industrial area will take a lead and continue to develop to a high standard.” Arrowstone Nw Zealand Director Ben Robbie says his company first invested in property in the McNulty Road precinct in 2007 establishing commercial buildings in Pinot Noir Drive before designing and building its latest complex, McNulty Road Central. “We have other buildings consented and ready for construction in the Pinot Drive area underlining

Arrowstone NZ Director Ben Robbie our commitment to Cromwell as a strategic Central Otago location and service centre. We firmly believe that our investment in Cromwell and the buildings we are delivering are helping set the sort of standards the local authority and the community has envisaged for the industrial precinct.” “High profile businesses are attracted to the area because of the positive changes which are occurring,” says Ben. “The new buildings make a bold statement and the old industrial sprawl type development is a thing of the past. We are certainly seeing a new landscape and we are excited to be part of this new chapter in Cromwell’s history.”

“The design is a major step up from the average industrial building, and our plans for developing the area known as the Corner Precinct in Pinot Noir Drive, are just as appealing for prospective tenants who want an attractive but cost effective and workable solution to operating premises in the centre of Central Otago.” Ben Robbie m: +64 276 486 820 F: +64 442 9519 www.arrowstone.co.nz e: ben@arrowstone.co.nz Photographs Suellen Boag

McNulty Central Showrooms


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CROMWELL

Olssens Vineyard

OLSSENS EXPANDS WINERY FACILITY Leading Central Otago pinot noir producer, Olssens, is almost doubling the size of its production facility to 400 tonnes with the multi-million dollar expansion of its winery at Arrowstone’s McNulty Central complex. Olssens is celebrating its 21st anniversary later this year and co-owner John Olssen says the upgrading project is an exciting milestone for the winery, which is recognised not only for its pinot noir, but also its sauvignon blanc, riesling, chardonnay, Robert the Bruce red and recently released pinot gris. “We began making our wine at the facility in McNulty Road in 2001 and the new development is state-of-the-art providing us with vastly improved waste disposal and water supply systems,” says John. “The temperature control is much more efficient and the interior has been opened up to create more space for fermenting tanks.” The upgrading project has also seen major enhancements to the winery laboratory, office and staff areas.

MAINFREIGHT SERVES WINE INDUSTRY A purpose built wine store, currently housing over 1.5million bottles of Central Otago wine, operated by the international company Mainfreight, is a significant part of Arrowstone’s Cromwell industrial park development. Cromwell Mainfreight franchise owners Paul and Deborah Wright say the 3000 sqm purpose built, temperature controlled Mainfreight wine store and distribution centre in McNulty Road, caters for wineries all over the region and has the capacity for almost double the amount of bottles presently being stored.

“We are processing our first vintage at the new facility from this year’s harvest and we are extremely pleased with the improvements which will vastly assist production.” Olssens is regularly in the headlines at prominent wine shows winning a gold and silver medal respectively for its 2007 Slapjack Creek Pinot Noir and 2008 Jackson Barry Pinot Noir at the 2009 Bragato National Grape Growers’ Awards. At the 2009 Air New Zealand Wine Show Olssens won, along with other medals, the coveted Champion Sustainable Wine of the Show award.

Olssens owners John Olssen and Heather McPherson

“We are certainly proud of our results in the past 21 years and our wine facility, which is contributing to the changing face of the industrial park in Cromwell, will help us achieve even better outcomes without detracting from our focus as a handcrafted boutique winery.”

location in the world. They are able to follow orders and track them to their destination through our sophisticated infrastructure.” The Cromwell Mainfreight operation is also responsible for cartage of 90% of grapes from Central Otago to wine facilities around the country.

Paul and Deborah “As well as transporting the fruit locally Wright we also take it as far away as Hawkes Bay and Blenheim. This is an important role for us and because we are so closely aligned with the wine industry we are keen sponsors of events such as the Pinot Noir Celebration and the Gibbston Harvest Festival.” The Wrights consider their McNulty Road complex, owned by Arrowstone, is an ideal location for Mainfreight operations. “We are close to all the Central Otago vineyards and wineries and it is the perfect base for us to service the whole region.”

“This is an important role for Mainfreight Logisitics in Cromwell. We represent the majority of Central Otago wineries and we also act as a distributor for them. It doesn’t matter what size the order is. For instance we might send 20 pallets of wine to the United States or just two bottles to a restaurant in Queenstown.” “We also have the Mainchain tracking facility which is useful for companies who want to check their wine stores, from any

Mainfreight wine store


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INSPIRED BY CROMWELL minutes from Queenstown is such a boon for the area and one that should never be under estimated.”

Gary Anderson

Gary started out his working life as a trainee chef at Country Lodge in Queenstown in 1986. But soon after a serious motorbike accident, which almost claimed his life, put him in hospital for a month. “That required two years of rehabilitation and I made the decision not to return to cooking but to go into business for myself.” His first venture was New Zealand Chef Supplies, a mail order catalogue distributed nationally, selling supplies such as uniforms, knives and cook books to chefs around the country. In 1989 he changed direction and his company, Gary Anderson Solutions for Sound & Vision, has established a solid following both in Central Otago and nationwide, as a major supplier of high quality systems such as Bose and more recently Sonos.

Photograph Suellen Boag

CROMWELL

Longtime business owner, Gary Anderson believes Cromwell’s future is “rosy.” He spoke to Margo Berryman about the positive attributes of doing business in the lakeside Central Otago town. Gary Anderson is clearly a man who gets a lot out of life. He is committed to many things but his family and Cromwell top the list. Moving to Cromwell at the age of 12 he has been part of the town for 30 years. Married to Jacqui for 15 years Cromwell is the base of everything which is important to him. “It would be hard to find any town that can rival what Cromwell has to offer in terms of people, activities, scenery and population. The fact that we are only 40

He attributes much of the awareness of his business to the internet. “The internet has created huge opportunities for marketing to new customers and I certainly couldn’t imagine business without it.” Gary says his exceptional staff have been crucial to the success of the business. “Mike Boyes has been with me for 15 years and Robert Iggulden (Iggy) ten years. They do a brilliant job with the support of our office manager Elaine Murchlind. As a team we do our best to deliver great service and advice.” Gary purchased his first commercial building in Cromwell when he was 21 and today he has a significant property portfolio in the town, reinforcing his belief that Cromwell has an excellent future. “Cromwell has experienced a huge population increase in the last five years with so many new faces. It is a fantastic place to do business and the town has always boxed well above its weight. Rents are affordable which makes a significant difference to your bottom line.” Quality wine, regional food and innovative outdoor activities have put Cromwell on the map and Gary says these are just some of the reasons why the town will continue to prosper as a tourist destination. “Future developments include a revamp of the main town centre which is planned to get underway this year and will revitalise the area. The industrial area is already changing and attracting new business and I believe Cromwell eventually will become the commercial hub of the greater Southern Lakes region.”


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CROMWELL

Central Otago winemaker Rudi Bauer’s nomination for a prestigious international winemaker’s award has put him right up there amongst the best in world. He talked to Jenny McLeod. Rudi Bauer may be Austrian but he represented New Zealand, as the first ever New Zealand winemaker to be nominated for the Winemaker of the Year Award, at the recent German Der Feinschmecker Wine Awards.

Photograph Suellen Boag

winning wines “I considered Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand but was advised by a former professor to try New Zealand. I arrived in Hawkes Bay to work at the Mission vineyard as assistant winemaker on a six month visa. My intention was only to stay that long but after heading to California for a couple of vintages I was drawn back to New Zealand.” Rudi’s reputation grew as viticulturalist and winemaker at Wanaka’s Rippon Vineyard where he remained three years before taking over the role of winemaker at Giesen Wines in Canterbury. But he was always looking for an opportunity to make his own wine in his own right, and in 1996 he formed a partnership with Bendigo Station owners John and Heather Perriam, Clotilde Chauvet (Marc Chauvet Champagne) and Dunedin businessman Trevor Scott launching Quartz Reef winery. The winery takes its name from New Zealand’s largest quartz deposit found beneath the company’s principal vineyards at Bendigo.

His was one of just six nominations- the others came from Germany, Italy, France, Portugal and his native Austria. Rudi, whose Quartz Reef winery has a growing international reputation, particularly as a quality pinot noir producer, is modest about the tribute but admits that it is exciting to be singled out for “the Oscars of the wine world. I was certainly very proud to be there representing New Zealand.”

The influential German Der Feinschmecker Wine Awards has opened news doors which he hopes will put even more focus on both Quartz Reef and Central Otago wines.

“Obviously it means a lot to me but it is also big news for both the Central Otago and New Zealand wine industries and helps put us on the world stage as an important wine producing country.”

“By being part of the German awards I was able to bring Quartz Reef wines to the attention of a distinguished group of international wine industry people who might not otherwise be aware of the wines we are producing in Central Otago. I also took our wines to the Pro Wein show in Dusseldorf which is a very big European wine show. It’s certainly been a great chance to get to an international audience.”

Ironically while Rudi was in Germany attending the awards dinner, back in New Zealand he was being named 2010 Winemaker of the Year at the renowned Royal Easter Show, an accolade he also won in 1999. “The award came as a big surprise and it is an honour to be recognised amongst New Zealand’s finest winemakers.” Rudi made the 2008 Mondillo Pinot Noir, from Mondillo’s Bendigo Vineyard which won both the champion pinot noir and champion wine of the show. Rudi arrived in New Zealand in 1985 after completing viticulture and winemaking degrees and graduating

from a winemaking business college in Bad Kreuznach in Germany.

Rudi Bauer

And while Rudi has relished being back in Europe amongst his winemaking peers, New Zealand is very much his home. “I am very lucky to live in such a great place and Central Otago couldn’t be a better place to make wine.”


CAFE

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cafe directory

with Jo Blick The Post Office Café Address NOT unknown...the Post Office Café is the newest addition to Queenstown’s buzzing café scene, situated right on Ballarat Street in the new Post Office precinct. They’ve certainly put their ‘stamp’ (ahem) on this part of town. We like their attitude! The Post Office Café is the home of Terri - The Goddess of Baking - and offers a delectable variety of cakes and slices, fresh baked every day. Choose from the cabinet or if you want more of a meal, make a selection from the menu. Breakfast is available all day and we hear the Eggs Benedict is getting rave reviews. In a hurry? The Post Office Café has a dedicated takeaway area with food to go for those who want to whizz in and out. Sandwiches range from tuna to the delights of gourmet chicken plus there’s a wrap of the day. You’ll probably need a drink and they do everything from cappuccinos to hot chocolate. They’re the masters of fresh juices and smoothies and also stock the refreshing Teza range of iced teas. The Post Office Café is licensed so enjoy a wine or beer with your lunch. They’re also one of the select few in the country to have Stella Artois on tap. Special deliveries? In a way! There’s the board room down the back for private functions and they also do a boxed lunch service. Orders need to be in by 10am the day before. Take a letter, Miss Jones... The Post Office Café really delivers.


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CAFE

Cavell’s Café and Bar Some things are just too good to be kept secret and Cavell’s Café and Bar is one of them. Tucked away on the riverbank, just past the Edith Cavell Bridge, Cavell’s Café and Bar has until recently, been almost exclusively the domain of rafters and jet boaters. But we’re now spreading the word so prepare to move over! We love the view! Yes, we know there are a lot of places with great views but this one, overlooking the craggy banks of the Shotover River is awesome, in the real sense of the word. There’s nothing pretentious about it. Cavell’s is a comfortable, welcoming place and it’s both child and dog friendly. Foodwise there’s a great selection of all day breakfasts from light to hearty with The Mother being the most popular, inspired by the Shotover River rapid of the same name. Check out “The Cabinet Full of Treats” too, which is indeed full of treats including pies and cakes. There are also some great burger and pizza options if you’re after something more substantial. The coffee is fab with Zee being the brand of choice and the daily $3 coffee deal between 9am and 11am is a gem. They’re licensed for beer and wine too and when winter comes, a spot on the couch near the fireplace is the place to drink your après ski mulled wine. Coolest feature? There’s courtesy transport available to and from Queenstown. Just phone 03 442 8692 to arrange. We’ll be using it!

Rees St Deli Surrounded by a contemporary art gallery, beautiful florist, stylish hair and beauty studio and gorgeous children’s store, the Rees St Deli located on Floor One of The Mountaineer building is a hub of social and business activity. This is one food and wine hotspot you don’t want to miss. You’re above the crowds! There’s plenty of space at the Rees St Deli with tables and chairs positioned to take in the marvellous view over Shotover Street and beyond to Skyline gondola and Queenstown Hill. Easy for business meetings, and a place for friends and families to relax – toys provided! average Eat in or take out. Order off the menu or choose from the deli cabinet. The big sandwiches are a meal in themselves and a great option for a picnic along with quiche, salads and baguettes, which can be made to order. The iconic New Zealand cheese rolls are cheesy, buttery and oh so good but my pick is the tasty filo pastry parcels. You could stay all day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all served here with breakfast from 8am, lunch all day and dinner from 6pm. The nightly specials board is popular with average sized meals ranging from $16. Good value for delicious selections such as rib eye steak and roast potatoes, premium lamb chops and mash or pan-fried fish and salad. Quench your thirst. Good coffee, herbal teas and locally produced Benger juices are available along with beer and wine to enjoy. Not surprisingly visitors return here for dinner two or three nights in a row.

Bonjour Café Arrowtown Who needs to fly to Paris when there’s a little piece of France right here in Arrowtown. Bonjour Café has brought a touch of Gallic flair to Ramshaw Lane and its traditional, simple French food has huge appeal for locals and visitors We love its rustic style. Unassuming and inviting, the checked table cloths and pots of colourful flowers provide an authentic French atmosphere. The same goes for the extensive menu, offering dishes from all the French regions including favourites like Croque Monsieur and Fondue. There are many new things to try as well. Bonjour offers the traditional French three course plat du jour every day, featuring seasonal fare at a great price The café offers breakfast and lunch daily from 8.30am, with dinner available from 5.30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Bookings for dinner are advisable. Bonjour is more than just a café. It’s everything French - stocking specially imported French cheeses and fresh baked European style breads. There’s also a quirky selection of French groceries including jams and soft drinks, marvellous gifts for homesick French people or exiled Francophiles! If it’s warm enough grab a seat on the terrace for lunch. Feel free to practice your French on the staff...most of them are native French speakers. Do bring the children! Bonjour is definitely a child friendly establishment. We don’t get to France too often but with a restaurant like Bonjour in the neighbourhood, we no longer feel we have to. C’est parfait.


ARTISTS

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Love Art! Artbay Gallery showcases the diverse talents of New Zealand artists and sculptors, with a mix of contemporary & uber artworks on display, by emerging and established artists. Visit and become inspired by other experiences on offer, such as an art consultancy service, art classes, art talks and interactive displays within the gallery. A regular artist in residence within the gallery is well known South Island artist Simon Morrison Deaker. His recognisable repertoire of abstracted landscapes and historical content linking his work to the viewer, has sold out in previous exhibitions. Rachael Errington, with her emotive “Light Changing” series features as an artist in residence in April. The artists welcome visitors to watch them paint and discuss their respective works along with personal commission requirements. Artbay’s professional art consultancy service is based on 15 years experience, having supported it’s clients with art provision to new homes, holiday homes and developments. Visitors to Queenstown can take advantage of tax free sales and a worldwide shipping service. Artbay’s eclectic selection of original New Zealand artworks is housed in a contemporary gallery on the first level in the refurbished historic Mountaineer complex, above Kathmandu. Simon Morrison Deaker

New Gallery opens at Lake Hayes Award winning Chinese born artists, Ben Ho and Mary Mai, whose work is well known amongst private collectors in Asia, America, United Kingdom and New Zealand have recently opened a new art gallery and studio at their Lake Hayes property on Alec Robins Road in Queenstown. The couple met at art school in China before immigrating to New Zealand in the late 80s and Ben Ho has exhibited widely here since 1991. His watercolours and oil paintings are particularly sought after. Formally trained in both traditional Chinese and contemporary painting , his inspiration comes from an eclectic range of subjects and his work has gained him numerous prestigious art awards including the Gold Medal , K.G. Fraser Art Awards, NZ Herald Award, Royal Easter Show and The Otago Regional Art Award. He was one of only five artists chosen to represent New Zealand at the worldwide Millennium painting competition in London in 1999. Mary Mai was inspired as a child to draw and paint, while staying with her grandparents in their village, and she received a scholarship for formal art training while at secondary school. She has won the professional category at the Royal Easter show and her work has gained a high profile throughout New Zealand. The gallery is open every day and visitors are welcome to call in to meet the artists and view their work.

SPECIALIST JEWELLER For the past 22 years, self taught specialist jeweller Ray Wade has been working solely at his craft and making a distinctive name for himself in the art world. His specialty is individually crafting beautiful natural stones such as mother of pearl, paua, agate, lapis, lazuli and amethyst into one-off pieces of jewellery. His love of collecting stones, started with gathering greenstone in Greymouth as a young boy, and polishing stones while living in Christchurch. “My personal style of design is to use shell or stone and marry it to a metal, usually silver or gold. I try to leave the raw material in its most natural state which leaves a more organic feel than what you get with a mass produced piece of jewellery.” Ray uses a wide range of stone gathered from around the world and locally from New Zealand’s south coast, Canterbury, South Westland and the Corromandel. His preference is to work at an artist in his own right but he also does some bespoke work on request. Visitors can enjoy watching him work in his Arrowtown gallery, where he also has on display a selection of his own wood cut prints and etchings. Ray Wade

30 Willshire St, Arrowtown Ph 03 442 1672 Fax 03 442 1675 Cell 027 670 0869 (an easy walk up and around the corner from the Arrowtown Bakery)


29

Ageing Central Otago Pinot Noir How well does Central Otago Pinot Noir age? Wine expert Alan Brady explores a commonly asked question. In the minds of some consumers it seems “ageability” is a pre-requisite for quality, as though an assurance the wine will be reaching its peak in 20 years time, gives them the confidence to purchase it. All good Pinot Noir wine needs some time in the bottle before it shows its full potential and Central Otago pinots are no exception. What most winemakers can’t tell you with any certainty is exactly how long their wine will last before it begins to fall apart. Central Otago is a young region and only a handful of producers have wines in their cellars that were made more than a decade ago. So I suppose the jury is still out when it comes to a clear-cut answer to the question of how well our pinots will age.

Photograph Julian Grimmond

I have just bottled vintage number 23 in a commercial winemaking career going back to 1987 in this region. Over those years I have experienced the highs and lows of seasonal variation. But many of the wines from the

mid 1990s onwards are holding up surprisingly well, showing the complexity and wonderful secondary aromas and flavours, that develop in the bottle if the wine is well made. All wines have their own life expectancy. Just as in the human species it can depend on genetic lineage (good vine clones well managed), a healthy pregnancy (a good growing season in the vineyard), a natural, trouble free birth (carefully monitored fermentation) and a safe and loving childhood environment (gentle handling at all stages until the wine is in the bottle). In my experience probably the most important of these criteria as far as “ageability” is concerned are the growing season, the timing of the harvest and the age of the vines. As winemakers and as parents we want to produce offspring that are delightful when young, and grow into incredibly interesting adults with charming personalities, so that we can sit back with a warm glow and think “didn’t we do well.” It doesn’t always happen. Sometimes wines, like children, can be horrid little brats when young yet still turn into likeable, well balanced grown-ups. And sometimes, when they leave the protective home environment and parental influence ends, things can go unpleasantly wrong. Anyone who puts a good bottle under the stairs or in the wardrobe in the spare bedroom, where the temperature can range from five degrees in winter to 35 degrees in summer, shouldn’t expect great things from the wine in five years never mind ten! Leading Australian wine writer Huon Hooke, in a recent edition of the Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine, lamented the trend for wine competition trophies to be awarded to shrill young red wines which “seduce judges with their bright, fresh but onedimensional primary fruit.” Many of these wines he claims, fail to mature into anything interesting, and are an embarrassment to the show system. There is much to enjoy in vibrant young Pinot Noir but age does matter and the habitual question – “how long can I keep it?” – is a relevant one.

PINOT EXPLORE THE TASTES OF THE VALLEY The Gibbston Valley Cheese and Wine Trail is an exciting initiative launched by the Gibbston Valley Cheesery combining local artisan produced cheeses with wines of the Gibbston and Central Otago region. The trail is designed for people to meander among the local wineries, accompanied by a beautifully prepared cheese hamper, and a matching wine map and tasting notes. Cheesery operators Kevin and Bess Paul developed the cheese and wine trail concept in response to demand from customers, keen to take their cheeses under the vines to sample alongside a local drop of pinot or riesling. “Our boutique cheeses produce some stunning flavours and textures, just as exciting as some of the great local wine vintages, so we thought why not combine the two and make it easy for people to go on their own journey of discovery.” The hampers can be ordered and picked up from the Gibbston Valley Cheesery together with a wine map featuring

If you have suitable storage and want to make the effort, Central Otago pinot from a good year will reward careful cellaring, by emerging a much more serious and interesting wine after a few years. You’ll need more than one bottle however because watching it develop and mature over a period of time is part of the fun!

highly recommended wine options. The cheese selection ranges from brie, harvati and pecorino to soft blues and includes bread, crackers, water, glasses and napkins. An option is to upgrade the hamper to include antipasto ingredients and a more substantial selection of food. To book phone Gibbston Valley Cheesery on 03 441 1388 or email: info@gvcheese.co.nz

WINE


TASTE

30

Stacks of pink sombreros welcome guests to Sombreros Mexican Cantina along with a cheerful greeting from staff. First impressions suggest a “fantastico” night out, according to Claire Hazeldine. Sombreros is Queenstown’s only Mexican restaurant and has been part of the town’s dining scene for 30 years. Its original name, Saguaros, proved too tricky to remember, prompting a name change in recent years. Drew Harmer, Ian MacLennan, Abbey & Billie Harmer Drew Harmer and Ian MacLennan are joint owners of this vibrant restaurant. The pair go way back. Ian bought the restaurant 20 years ago after working for the owners of Saguaros and Drew, at the age of 18 joined the team as a dishwasher. They became good friends and a few years ago formed a business partnership to run the venture. “Our business philosophy is to keep it simple by providing fresh ingredients, generous sized portions

Photograph Julian Grimmond

DINING MEXICAN STYLE at a great price, friendly and efficient staff and a fun, relaxed atmosphere,” says Drew. “People have really strong opinions about Mexican food but we can vary our recipes to appeal to all tastes. Our vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are really popular and everyone likes the fact they can control the level of spiciness of their meal. We can do everything from no spice at all to as hot as you can handle.” Sombreros has a range of about 50 hot sauces to add extra zing to the meals. Quizzed as to his favourite dish Drew doesn’t hesitate - the beef burrito - “it’s huge, absolutely delicious and will fuel you forever.” Ian’s favourite is the quesadilla accompanied by frijoles (pinto beans) and guacamole while Sombreros chef of 17 years, Pete Rayment, claims the sizzling fajita as his preferred dish. Apparently the carne con queso from the starters menu has people totally hooked once they’ve tried it, and the Mexican platter (where you can mix and match enchiladas ad tacos with a variety of fillings) also has a big following. No Mexican meal is complete without a traditional margarita and Drew believes Sombreros has the recipe spot on. Drew says a dedicated staff is the secret of Sombreros success. “We hire good staff and really try to look after them. We’re constantly getting comments about how great they are and how they make it such a fun dining experience for our customers.” Sombreros is open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.


31

TASTE

INTIMATE DINING AT LES ALPES Dining at Les Alpes in Queenstown is like sitting down with a French family in their traditional alpine chalet which is just the ambience owners AnneMarie and Serge Guilhaumou wanted to create. James Beech joined them. By day, the inviting French establishment in Church Street is a bustling café, a  tantalising patisserie and delicatessen and a well-stocked wine cellar.  Continental breakfasts and lunches are popular but it is the quality evening dining which Les Alpes is making its name for. ‘’We wanted to give diners a little bit of France,’’ says Serge.’’ We want people to feel like guests in the restaurant.’’ As hostess Anne-Marie mingles with patrons and says people often comment that they feel like they are dining in the couple’s own dining room. ‘’I talk with all my customers about my life and the places where they are  living, because I know

quite a few places around the world and I’ll always know someone who knows someone,’’ she laughs. And what a life the couple have lived before they arrived in Queenstown.  As yacht racing enthusiasts they have sailed around the  world ‘’three or four times’’ on their own chartered yachts, or on the  schooners of European and American professionals Serge was skippering a crew of about 30, including Anne-Marie, on board the 24m sloop British Defender in the Whitbread around the World yacht  race when the couple discovered New Zealand in 1989.‘’We had three weeks stop over in Auckland and spent three or four days in Queenstown and Milford Sound.” They loved Queenstown and bought land at  Moke Lake and after looking around decided the resort was missing an alpine style restaurant with a family atmosphere. Two years ago they started looking for a site for their restaurant and the Church Street location, close to Lake Wakatipu, was perfect for their Les Alpes concept.

The evening menu is diverse and Paris born and raised Anne-Marie says warm goat cheese salad with truffle oil and Guérande salt is ‘’subtle and exceptional’’ and is her  favourite entrée at Les Alpes. Serge, from Sète, on the Mediterranean coast, says a dozen Burgundy  snails flambéed in anise liqueur are his top pick ‘’because we  cook it differently to bring out the flavours.’’ Head chef Vincent Letondale arrived at Les Alpes in February this year after working  as sous chef at Melbourne’s Vue de Monde for two years. ‘’I recommend the smoked salmon to start, because Akaroa Salmon send me the whole salmon and I fillet, cure, rinse, dry and smoke it myself,’’  Vincent says. ‘’I also recommend the New Zealand lamb with garlic sauce together with rosemary, a nice flavour.” ‘’I would like diners to have a real taste of French food. Serge, Anne-Marie and I talked about it and we don’t want to mix it as fusion food,” says Vincent. ‘’We want (to have) a proper French kitchen and typical French style food using New Zealand produce whenever we can.’’


QT Magazine Autumn 2010  

QT Magazine Autumn 2010

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