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Punatapu Lodge
Punatapu Lodge
Ready to take off
Magnificent view

Queenstown aerial tour

Thursday, June 2, 2005
Sorrel heads to Queenstown’s most luxurious resort and stumbles across the ultimate thrill ride with a magnificent view.

Queenstown on Lake Wakatipu is a purpose-built tourist town, filled with restaurants, nightclubs and cafes. It vibrates with adventure and vitality. Generally associated with winter sports, Queenstown also has lots to offer year round. Bungy jumping was dreamed up here; there's jet boating, motor-biking, horseriding and some good wine tasting to be enjoyed in the other seasons.

Punatapu, once a deer farm, opened in 1996 offering exclusive and luxurious accommodation. Its name means "sacred spring of life" in the Maori language. A huge totem pole guards the property.

There are just four rooms and wonderful attention to detail is evident throughout. Stone, plasterwork, dry-stacked stone walls, local, handcrafted furniture and New Zealand art have been used to give much character. There is a central courtyard and clever architecture gives the sensation of rising to meet the majestic mountains, rather than snuggle into them.

The property is 90m above Lake Wakatipu and has mountain views. The rainforest offers great hiking and walking trails and it is all surrounded by Department of Conservation land.

Food is an important element. They use as much local produce as possible. They plan to operate cooking weekends to attract trans-Tasman visitors.

Once you've absorbed everything around you, why not see it all from the air? Heliworks has a fleet of helicopters which carries out a full range of aerial activities, including Mountain Spectacular, the ultimate showcase of this beautiful area. Fly from Queenstown over Arthurs Point to land high on snow-covered Mount Larkins. Then fly to Richardson Mountains to view the head of Lake Wakatipu and the Rees and Dart Rivers and on to the head of Earnslaw Burn. After the stop at the glacier, you head east to the head of the Shotover River catchment and the shore of a remote alpine lake. Your flight returns to Queenstown over the historic goldmining region of Skippers Canyon, over Skippers Bridge and, time permitting, a stop at the Pipeline Bungy.


New Zealand's South Island


Punatapu Lodge has bed and breakfast starting at around $570 a night.
Heliworks scenic helicopter flights start at around $120 per person.
Qantas flies daily to Auckland with connections to Queenstown, starting at $551 from Sydney, $555 from Brisbane and Melbourne, $842 from Adelaide, $963 from Perth and $1243 from Darwin, per person. Prices include charges/taxes and are current at time of writing, but may vary at time of booking. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.Punatapu Lodge has bed and breakfast starting at around $503 a night.

Heliworks’ scenic helicopter flights start at around $148 per person.

Flight Centre has return economy airfares to Queenstown. Valid for sale and travel until November 11, 2005, prices including tax start at:
  • Sydney $632
  • Melbourne $665
  • Brisbane $668
  • Adelaide $951
  • Perth $1004
    To book call Flight Centre on 131 600

    Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

    More information

    Punatapu Lodge
    Box 1252
    Queenstown New Zealand 9197
    Ph: 0011 64 3 442 6624
    Fax: 0011 64 3 442 6229

    Box 2211
    Queenstown New Zealand 9197
    Ph: 0011 64 3 441 4011
    Fax: 0011 64 3 441 4012
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