Connections grow global tourism attraction

Published: Fri 22 Nov 2019 04:01 PM
Connections grow global tourism attraction
Being connected to global tourism channels has completely changed the operation of historic Glentanner Station.
The 4050-hectare property which runs 6000 Merino sheep, it is a mecca for overseas visitors who marvel at its sensational views due to its location adjacent to Aoraki Mt Cook National Park.
The sheep station, which has been run by the Ivey family since 1957, is home to three generations.
Ross and Helen Ivey, and their sons Mark, George and their families, manage the property and its operation. The property was originally taken up by the English Dark brothers in 1858.
Ross explains that the station passed through various owners before two established Canterbury families - Guinness and Le Cren - owned it from 1912 to 1960.
His father, Ian Ivey, purchased a quarter share in 1960, and when Lake Pukaki was raised for the hydroelectric scheme in 1974, Ian bought the others out to set up his own venture.
“Our idea was to go into tourism because it’s close to the alps, and we knew it had a lot of potential,” says Ross.
“We live on State Highway 80 and a lot of tourist buses came past taking pictures. There was a vacuum of camping facilities and it was a natural place for us because the views are so spectacular.”
The Iveys, who are passionate environmentalists, introduced a holiday park, tenting, power sites, motels and aviation opportunities, which involves fixed-wing aircraft flights around Aoraki Mount Cook National Park and helicopter flights which provide an opportunity for a snow landing.
As Ross explains, it’s not all about tourism though, with plenty of educational and study opportunities for both locals and visitors from overseas.
“We have people visiting from every corner of the world, with New Zealand children learning about the national park through a DOC learning and education outside the classroom programme. It’s conservation-based tourism. We also have plenty of scientists visiting who carry out botanical surveys.”
Glentanner Park has a purpose-built reception centre for the holiday park which includes a Merino retail shop, and a base facility for its helicopter operation.
The park has 60 power sites for campervans, 60 tent sites and 14 cabins plus kitchen, barbeque and ablution facilities.
Ross says providing connectivity for overseas visitors, and staff is essential, and while they do have issues with internet reliability, the fibre optic cable connects them to the world.
“Without the internet we wouldn’t be able to run our business.
“There’s Wi-Fi in the camping ground for guests, and a webcam on one of our buildings so visitors can check the weather at Aoraki.
“The internet is so crucial to what we do, but it’s limited. We provide internet for our staff, and our own business.”
By diversifying into an impressive list of tourism, farming and environmental ventures, Glentanner Station continues a long-lasting legacy, while working hard to future-proof the property for generations to come.

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