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New attraction gets off the ground: iFLY

With no jumping, parachutes or planes required, now anyone can fly like Superman – on a cushion of air.


Arrow International’s team worked in blazing heat and falling snow to get iFLY, Queenstown’s sensational new attraction off the ground this winter. Arrow was involved in the design phase of the $15 million project, giving buildability and programming input before being awarded the main build contract.
The skydiving facility involves an 8m deep basement and wind turbines that sit on top of the building. The turbines blow air around the building, into the basement, and then project it up through the centre of the building to create a ‘flight chamber’. People float on a column of air rising up to 5m above the ground.
The Queenstown building design, drawn up by local Walker Group Architects, is the first of its kind for New Zealand. This iconic build is a joint project between Sky Venture International, which manufactures iFLY vertical wind tunnels and Kiwi residents Emma and Gary Beyer. Emma Beyer was on the British skydiving team winning the 2006 world champs, while her husband Gary is a former world champion and 18-time US champion.
Emma comments that “we originally approached iFLY in 2011 with a view to launching an indoor skydiving facility in New Zealand. Before tendering for construction even started, a huge amount of work went into finding and researching the right location. The consenting process was especially time-consuming and challenging due to the central Queenstown location, and the appearance of the building needed to fit well with the surrounding architecture and alpine backdrop. It’s unique as it is unlike any of the other 67 iFLY sites around the world.”

Nick Hamlin, Arrow’s Southern General Manager says, “The site is wedged between two existing buildings making construction activities incredibly difficult. The site is very tight and steep and on one of the busiest streets in Queenstown for foot traffic, which leads up to the gondola. A major tower crane was used on site to construct the super structure and install all the 12 tonne wind turbines.
“The basement area is approximately 8m in the ground, with the top of the building lifting up to 14m – making it a massive concrete structure that had to be systemic designed for the alpine location.”
The 450mm-thick basement walls required specialised pouring systems brought in from Christchurch and a special free-flowing concrete to pour the massive walls. Highly technical, the wind tunnel and most of the technology for the project have come from Texas.
Construction Project Manager Bruce Halligan, Project/Senior Site Manager Brian Macmillan, Quantity Surveyor Gerry Lyons and Project Administrator Kirsty Tamatea were supported by an enthusiastic team of subcontractors.
“It’s been a tough but very rewarding build, with a lot of very technical details and low build tolerances that add to the challenge – we all can’t wait for the opportunity to try out the tunnel itself.”

UPVC Windows and Doors

Exceptional Efficiency: UPVC Windows and Doors

Central Otago and the Southern Lakes region are known for their extremes of climate – scorching hot days of more than 30 degrees in the summer and plummeting well below zero in the winter. Such fluctuations call for building materials that perform at the highest level of efficiency, especially with respect to thermal insulation, noise reduction and security.

UPVC Windows and Doors

The largest holes in your house are your windows and doors. Designing window and door frames to prevent heat escaping has reached the highest standard with the use of unplasticised polyvinyl chloride or UPVC. This material, when used in conjunction with low emissivity double glazing, achieves an R-value of 0.8 for insulating effectiveness and thermal performance. To interpret the jargon, that is a very high rating and will help you enjoy a perfectly comfortable atmosphere in your home while lowering power bills. It’s the ideal product for the southern environment.

UPVC Windows and Doors Ltd of Dunedin manufacture and install these UPVC products using the Deceuninck Zendow profile, the world’s largest manufacturer of UPVC window and door systems. The frames come in a range of seven colours and have a 15-year guarantee. Once installed on a house, the frames look similar to the beauty of timber frames but, unlike timber, they are virtually maintenance free. They have other benefits too. They offer high security locking features, as well as high sound insulation and maximum water tightness for areas prone to driving rain and snow.

For more information about UPVC frames, phone UPVC Windows and Door Ltd 0800 455 501.

The Viking Ball

Going Viking! – The Viking Ball

In ancient times, those who went off raiding and plundering in ships were said to be ‘going Viking’. These days such behaviour is frowned upon, but Southern Lakes residents can at least dust off their furs and party like they’ve made it to Valhalla (Viking heaven).

The Viking Ball

An innovative charity fundraiser, The Viking Ball is being held next month to raise money for Upper Clutha Hospice Trust. Wanaka event manager Samantha Stout feels strongly about giving back to her community and has teamed up with Pete and Claire Marshall – owners of high-end venue Corbridge Woolshed – to plan the evening.
“It will be a totally immersive experience, with highly theatrical elements,” Samantha says. “Prepare to be surprised.”
Entertainment includes live music, a fire dancer and actors dressed as Vikings. Without giving too much else away, Samantha reveals that a traditional Viking burial ritual will be re-enacted using the small lake at the venue.

And what to wear to an event that is heavily themed around the seafaring warriors of the late 8th to 11th centuries? Think natural fibres: leather, wool and fur. Samantha suggests people could further support the cause by finding an outfit at the Upper Clutha Hospice Shop in Wanaka.
The Viking Ball is on Saturday 4 August at Corbridge Woolshed, 707 Wanaka-Luggate Highway. Tickets cost $160 per person (10 percent discount available for groups of 10 or more). Email or phone 027 931 6003.

Clicquot in the Snow

Winter’s Must-Attend: Clicquot in the Snow

This year’s Clicquot in the Snow in Queenstown from 2-5 August marks the 200th year since Madame Clicquot blended the world’s first rosé champagne and, to honour the special anniversary, long-time friend of the brand, designer Kathryn Wilson has designed a special edition rosé pink belt.

 Clicquot in the Snow

To the delight of many Kathryn Wilson fans, the special edition rosé belt is reintroducing her much loved belts to her coveted designs. The talented shoe and accessories designer is releasing the celebratory belt as part of her spring/summer 18 collection which is set to be debuted at Clicquot in the Snow this year. An annual highlight for festival guests, this is her 7th year showing at Clicquot in the Snow.
Kathryn Wilson will also be releasing her spring/summer 18 collection at her annual runway show presented by Veuve Clicquot. This year is particularly special as she celebrates the brand’s 15-year anniversary.
This year will also see another magnificent presentation at Rata with celebrity chef Josh Emett to bring back the Clicquot Long Lunch series at Rata Restaurant; a four-course degustation lunch inspired by Clicquot Colourama and the Veuve Clicquot range including NV, Vintage and Rosé.

The weekend’s highlight will be the magnificent and much anticipated Clicquot Gala. This time with an exciting new Colourama theme. Bringing a touch of glamour to close the four-day celebration, the Clicquot Colourama Gala at QT Queenstown will be the ultimate place to be in Queenstown on 4 July.

 Clicquot in the Snow  Clicquot in the Snow

Guests will be treated to an exclusive performance by Anna Coddington and Dick Johnson of DJ – Vocalist duo, Clicks, and multiple iconic Clicquot moments. Tickets are $99 per person and include entry to the Clicquot Colourama Gala, canapes and one flute upon arrival with cash bar available for the rest of the event.
It’s colourful and luxurious, it’s fashionable and it’s refined. Clicquot in the Snow is fast becoming the event to attend on the Queenstown social calendar. To view the full Clicquot in the Snow 2018 programme and purchase tickets, visit

Southern lakes

Arrowtown’s Cultural Gems: Southern lakes

If outdoor pursuits in the bone-chilling Southern Lakes winter are not your bag, take refuge indoors and discover some of the cultural, historic and artistic gems in Arrowtown. You don’t have to wander far off the beaten track – or the main street – to get a decent dose of intellectual and sensory stimulation.

Southern lakes Take a step back in time at Lakes District Museum. Arrowtown is steeped in rich history, thanks to its fascinating goldmining past, and the museum showcases it well. Jane Peasey – who is
responsible for special projects – says it’s an excellent starting point to get an overview of how the area was developed and who and what shaped this quaint town. Throughout the three
heritage buildings there are working displays illustrating early Maori life and the harsh pioneering times that European settlers and goldminers endured. For winter there’s a display of
historic skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating gear and photos. Lakes District Museum also houses an art gallery, bookshop, archives and a busy education programme. Open seven days at 49
Buckingham Street.


Nadene Milne Gallery is a calm, peaceful space that provides welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the main street. Operated by two of the most experienced gallerists in New
Zealand, Nadene Milne and Jacinta Byron, it shows many of the most collectible, contemporary artists in the country. Its stable of well-known names includes Judy Millar, Shane Cotton,
Fiona Pardington and Max Gimblett. Having carved out a strong reputation within the industry, the gallery attracts serious art collectors nationwide as well as from overseas. A highlight
this winter will be a presentation of new works by Shane Cotton, due in early July. Nadene Milne Gallery is open 11am to 5pm Tuesday to Saturday, at 16 Buckingham Street. For viewings
outside these times, phone 0274 401 665.


For a unique experience that is so much more than just a standard trip to ‘the flicks,’ check out Dorothy Browns boutique theatre, bar and bookshop. The atmosphere in the main cinema is all
romantic charm, with floating pink chiffon decorating the walls and glass-beaded chandeliers setting a scene of opulence and sophistication. Cheeseboards and wine glasses are easily
accommodated by the armrests on the huge seats and, if you need more sustenance half-way through the movie, there’s a very handy intermission. The den is a smaller, more cosy environment,
with seating for 20. Screening both mainstream and arthouse films, Dorothy Browns is at 18 Buckingham Street.


Blue Moon Rummage is a treasure chest filled with an eclectic mix of furniture, lamps, chandeliers, ornaments, jewellery and rustic clocks made from wine barrel ends. Specialising in
vintage skiing memorabilia, it has an impressive display of vintage skis, snowshoes, cushions, reproduced signs and shirts. Pam Lawrence – who calls herself “Head Rummager” – has owned the
shop for nine years and injects her own quirky style and passion in to the business. She makes regular trips to gift fairs in Canada and the United States so she can hand-pick her favourite
items. Visitors will chuckle over what must be the best collection of witty and naughty gift cards to be found in the Southern Lakes. Find Blue Moon Rummage in The Arcade, Buckingham

Southern Institute of Technology

Southern study success: Southern Institute of Technology (SIT)’s Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management has set up Shovik Saha for a great career

Shovik Saha is a graduate of Southern Institute of Technology (SIT)’s Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management. Studying at the picturesque Queenstown campus, Shovik was impressed by the standard of learning and the tutors on his course.

Southern Institute of Technology

“All the tutors are awesome and have been great advisors. The programme was a step up in my learning and incredibly helpful towards my education surrounding New Zealand hospitality.”
Studying the Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management definitely helped with finding a job in the hospitality industry in Queenstown. “I was given great exposure into New Zealand’s hospitality industry working for a year with Holiday Inn Queenstown and then stepped up to work with Novotel Queenstown Lakeside, which will boost my hospitality career.
“I would definitely recommend the Graduate Diploma in Hotel Management to other students who wish to further their studies in hospitality.”
The next intake for this programme begins on 30 July 2018, and SIT looks forward to receiving enrolments from interested students.

Fleck Construction

A family friendly space: Fleck Construction and Jeremy Kingan Architects team up to build an excellent family home

“I love houses with rhythm,” says Jeremy Kingan, an Architect based in Central Otago. Clearly the judges of the NZIA Southern Architecture Awards agreed, selecting Jeremy’s ‘Fleck’ house as one of the housing category winners for 2018.

Fleck Construction

The rhythmic design concept of patterned repetition is evident in the gabled barn section of the house where the roof is clad in ‘tray’ style steel of flat pan and rib, which is then folded down the walls. Rhythmic progression is provided by the second form and material: a box-shaped wing sided in cedar shiplap. Jeremy’s aesthetic is to stay true to the material he is using and find something intriguing about it. “If you choose to use plywood, don’t pretend it is board and batten; be sure to celebrate its sheet form.”
Rhythm is apparent in the outlook of this home, as well as its design, positioned as it is for maximum appreciation of the four seasons as they cycle across the elevations of Coronet Peak. This stunning northern outlook can be appreciated from the kitchen and family area, as well as the dining and living areas, and the main bedroom.


Fleck ConstructionThe interior features polished concrete, which Jeremy has been incorporating into designs for 40 years “long before it became fashionable” and its counterpoint is planking in oak.

Jeremy says the concept for the house came together really harmoniously: the clients’ architect family member introduced the concept; the clients brought thoughts of their own; Jeremy added his ideas then finessed the proportions and pulled it together.
Richard Fleck of Fleck Construction built the house for his young family. Growing up just down the road from the site, the desire to raise his family in a rural setting made the choice of location obvious.
The family found working with Jeremy straightforward and collaborative, Richard says. “We love the proportions Jeremy produced for the design. Proportions are key to a great home and they are perfect here.”
Not only does the house feature stunning good looks, the space and layout make it easy for a young family to live in.
There are four in the Fleck Construction team, working all around the Southern Lakes area. It’s a flexible company working on larger or smaller scale homes, and on major or minor renovations. Richard says projects come through word of mouth and, while larger architectural homes are now making up a greater share of the business, smaller developments and proposals are always welcome.
The next build is an Arrowtown house incorporating environmentally sustainable features. Richard says the ‘greening’ and increased energy efficiency of homes is a positive step given “the annual struggle with elements, which is the price Mother Nature extracts for living within such outstanding natural beauty”.

Project Partners

  1. Fleck Construction
    Ph: 021 260 4481
  2. Jeremy Kingan Architects
    Ph: 021 178 4304
Condon Scott Architecture

Lofty heights of success: Kelvin Heights stunner thanks to Condon Scott Architects and Trevor Ward Builders

Thanks to the very positive collaboration of architect, builder and client, a stunningly beautiful home now graces the shores of Lake Wakatipu, high up on Kelvin Heights, Queenstown. All involved in the process were so delighted with the final outcome with the project winning the housing category of the NZIA’s 2018 Southern Architecture Awards.

Condon Scott Architecture

“This was no easy project,” says Barry Condon, of Condon Scott Architects, Wanaka. “But I’m passionate about solving the unique challenges that are presented with each new site and client brief.”
The site for this house definitely posed those challenges on which Barry and his team thrive. It is a steeply sloping site overlooking Lake Wakatipu, but adding to the complications was the fact that the footing for the house is a rocky outcrop, which diagonally cuts the site in two. “The clients’ brief was for us to create a family home that would capitalise on the views to the lake and mountains, and which would also have an outdoor area protected from the wind. Not only did we have the site itself to contend with, but also a 7m height control envelope, which restricts roof form heights once over the edge of the escarpment.”

Condon Scott ArchitectureCondon Scott is known for tailor-made solutions using strong design-based architecture. Barry’s solution was a series of stepped levels contained within two wedge-shaped forms, designed to fit under the height control envelope. The southern wedge (containing the guest bedrooms) presents to the street; its stepped metal cladding hinting at the level changes within. The northern wedge is orientated west to the lake view and contains the day-to-day living areas and the master bedroom suite. The two wedges are linked by a low roofed element creating a courtyard to capitalise on morning sun and provide a sheltered retreat on windy days. “With such a challenging site, we had to be innovative. We believe that the solution is elegant and responds harmoniously to the complexities of the site.”

Condon Scott ArchitectureIt wasn’t only the architect who had to grapple with the constraints posed by the site. The responsibility for translating the design from paper into concrete form lay with Trevor Ward Builders of Queenstown. This construction company specialises in building architectural homes and has consistently won prestigious awards at the Registered Master Builders House of the Year.
“Because of the slope of the site we had to start at the lower edge and work our way back up to the street,” Trevor Ward explains.
“The building is literally drilled into the site with starter bars driven into the schist stone for the footings of the foundation walls of the house. The ground-works and up-to-slab level construction took almost half of the build time with the steep terrain making it difficult to access and operate machinery, particularly at the lower levels of the site.”
Trevor and his team are known for the fastidious quality of their workmanship as well as their attention to detail and the Kelvin Heights house is a particular source of pride to them all. “The whole project was undoubtedly a total team effort which was very satisfying to be part of.”

Project Partners

  1. Condon Scott Architects
    Ph: 03-443 7919
  2. Trevor Ward Builders
    Ph: 027-430 1658
Josh Emett

Woo-ing the nation: Q&A with celebrity chef Josh Emett

Josh Emett heads an empire that counts some of the country’s much-loved hotspots in its repertoire, including Rātā, Ostro and Madam Woo. Metropol talks to this culinary creative about his new restaurant offering, a new cook book and Woo-ing the nation.

Josh Emett

Where did your passion for food come from?

I have always loved cooking right from a young age and I am very lucky to have turned that into a great career for myself. I use the same approach every time, regardless of what restaurant or what style of cooking, it’s all about the produce and ensuring that whatever comes in the back door of the restaurant is great, as local as possible and seasonal. We use free range wherever possible and we try to create the sort of dishes that will make people turn around and come back and eat them again the next day. I love being able to share my food experiences with our customers through ingredients they know, presented in a different or challenging way.

You started Rātā in Queenstown, Ostro in Auckland and the Madam Woo restaurant chain. What are you up to now?

Yes, I have been extroidanairily busy in the few years since I returned to New Zealand from working overseas. My business partner Fleur Caulton and I are very proud of Rātā in Queenstown and our Madam Woo restaurants in Queenstown, Christchurch, Hamilton, Dunedin and Takapuna. They are much loved and are becoming well known across the country. We’ve had a very busy start to this year actually, with the launch of our fast-casual spin off of Madam Woo — Hawker & Roll — first up at Sylvia Park in Auckland this past December, and more recently we opened the second one in Queenstown. That’s taken a lot of my time recently, as well as planning a new cook book and of course always innovating our menu at Madam Woo and keeping it fun, fresh, and exciting for customers.

What is the winning recipe for a great dining establishment?

We have a few keywords we use for Madam Woo, especially for service staff, which are fun, energetic, knowledgeable, delicious, and genuine. It needs to be all of those things when you come in to have a good time. The vibe has got to be noisy and energetic; food needs to be absolutely delicious and that will always be a massive focus of ours. We pour so much energy into making sure the food is outstanding and consistent, and that the service is lively and really genuine. At Rātā we have a very different approach, but we still use similar keywords like genuine, knowledgeable and fun as we think they are key to creating a great experience.

How did your childhood growing up in the small farming community of Ngahinapouri in the Waikato influence your tastes and culinary preferences?

I had a deep respect for fresh produce ingrained in me from a young age because I had the privledge of growing up on a farm where we had access to amazing ingredients; my mother did a ot of preserving and was a great cook. When I was still quite young I spent a lot of time in my parent’s kitchen experimenting with flavours and that love and passion for cooking is what ultimately drove me to pursue it as a career.

Heading into winter, what are some of your go-to comfort meals?

My go to dish for winter has got to be a curry. There’s something super comforting and warming about having a nice bowl of hot & spicy veg and meat, served with coconut or steamed jasmine rice.

How does a day in the life of Josh Emett look these days?

My days are usually extremely busy. I‘m up early every morning before the kids rise to train and exercise. Always a coffee and always a decent breakfast to set me up for the day ahead, then some time with the kids before they head off to school. Helen and I always have a catch up about who is doing what and when. Then I am either at my desk and on my phone working or often travelling around the country visiting restaurants, talking to my chefs and staff, testing dishes, planning menus etc. I am always on the lookout for new sites wherever I go. I try and divide my time between all of our restaurants as much as possible across the month.

What does the next 12 months have in store for you?

I always have lots of things going on although I do try to have a balanced life. There’s a lot of focus on the development of Hawker & Roll, hopefully we will open a few more— we’ve already signed onto Commercial Bay in Auckland so that will happen in the next 12 months at least. I’m also writing a new cookbook which is exciting. Aside from that we always have our heads down focused on all our restaurants to make sure they are running like clockwork.

Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival

Winter’s southern show-down: The Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival

New Zealand’s winter has started with one hell of a party for the last 43 years. That party is the Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival and this year the party is as fresh as the season’s first powder.

Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival

The 44th Queenstown Winter Festival runs from Thursday 21 June to Sunday 24 June. The 2018 festival programme was launched on-board the historic TSS Earnslaw steamship last month, with the four-day schedule of innovative and classic events ensuring even the most experienced festival goer, an exciting and fresh experience.
The 2018 Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival is sure to deliver an Instagram frenzy for all punters, launching with a hauntingly beautiful torchlight procession through the streets and a traditional Maori welcome. Adding to the visual feast, the festival stage will now be in a new location adjacent to the beachfront creating a magical atmosphere against the backdrop of Lake Wakatipu.
New Festival Director Rae Baker has curated a collection of critically acclaimed, yet popular, Kiwi artists that will have wide appeal across a broad spectrum of demographics.
“As one of New Zealand’s iconic events, we have the opportunity to showcase the talent we have in the country as well as springboard artists who are less well known. We’ve gathered together some brilliant Kiwi artists to celebrate with us in true Queenstown Winter Festival style,” Rae says.

Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival Among the stellar line up are well known names Tiki Taane, Maala, Leisure, The Black Seeds and The Feelers, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary tour. This year two new live music venues, Memorial Centre and The Sherwood Hotel, will host some of the country’s coolest acts including L.A.B., Yoko-Zuna, Nadia Reid, Hollie Smith and local band the Killergrams.
With Cardrona as the new host mountain, festival goers will experience a brand-new mountain village experience, including iconic events like the Monteith’s Dog Derby and the canine hilarity that is the dog barking contest. This year the festival will also introduce fresh events such as snow tubing, a snow skate slalom and the Macpac Tour de Cardies.

Real Journeys Queenstown Winter Festival For those who prefer lower altitudes, the iHeartRadio Day on the Bay with its hilarious The Hits 90.4 Birdman contest and the JUCY Undy 500 return to the programme, alongside a brand-new feature, Go Orange Ripper Rafting. When the sun sets crowds will head to one of the traditionally sold out comedy events or the SKYCITY Vive le Cirque Ball which will be in a secret location this year.
“Festival has always been about letting your inhibitions run a bit wild and embracing the true essence of Queenstown. Traditionally for Festival this has meant anything from throwing you and your canine buddy down a mountain side to running about in your undies in freezing temperatures, we continue these traditions in 2018 and add a few surprises along the way.”
For full programme details visit