Saturday , August 18 2018
Puka Park guest movers
Puka Park Resort's biggest challenge is access. Enter, guest movers!

Buggies pull their weight at wilderness retreat

Puka Park Resort is a unique place, offering seclusion, indulgence and relaxation in a majestic mountainside location at Pauanui Beach on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula.

The resort spans 25 acres of land, much of which is native bush. The 48-chalet property is positioned right on the side of Mount Pauanui. Access and movement around the property can get a bit interesting, due to the steep terrain and narrow windy roads.

General manager, Bradley Condor spoke with AMG about the joys of this unique topography, and how resort management navigates the challenges it presents. “It is dense bush, and it’s original, it hasn’t been planted; it’s natural. It’s just so beautiful on rainy morning with the mist rising. You feel like you could be anywhere”.

This unique location does come with a few challenges, the first of which were getting the chalets onto the mountainside at all. “To build several of the chalets, equipment and materials had to be helicoptered in, and then built in place,” Mr Conder told AMG.

With such challenging terrain, many of the guests would struggle to get from place to place, so to ensure the guest experience is not one of stress and strain, staff pick up and deliver every guest to every location, whenever they require.

AMGNZ35-GF-Puka-Park-2-300x171 Buggies pull their weight at wilderness retreat
With narrow winding internal roads, access to cabins is managed with utility vehicles

“It begins when guests arrive; they drive up to reception, check in, and then drive to the carpark, and from there, they travel by buggy for the duration of their stay.”

The 48-chalet resort requires only three reliable buggies to meet this requirement for guests, manage transport for maintenance staff and equipment; and facilitate housekeeping of the well-spaced and secluded chalets, which are nestled into the mountainside. “We use them for every part of daily operations,” Bradley Conder told AMG.

Housekeeping uses a Cushman Hauler for transporting cleaning equipment, an EZGO Shuttle is dedicated to guest transport, and another Cushman Hauler operates as a maintenance vehicle. “They’re all in great condition, but the guest buggy is definitely tidier,” Mr Conder laughed.

“The housekeeping one has a storage shell on the back for storage, and the guest mover is a comfortable four-seater with storage space for luggage.” How guests approach the fleet varies. Some take the buggy even short distances – children love a good buggy jaunt – and some guests eschew the service completely, and welcome the mountain air and elevated heartrate. Guest feedback indicates relief that they are not driving cars down “narrow, one-lane roads, with tight corners and considerable inclines,” he added.

The vehicles are all new and well maintained, a vital ingredient for a resort with such unique natural environment.  “I’ve been so happy with all three,” the GM enthused. “We have really tough terrain here, and, while it’s important that we keep maintenance up-to-date, they’ve been pretty faultless.”

Mr Conder has 16 years of resort management under his belt, and had previously managed a resort with a large ageing buggy fleet.  The seasoned manager is relishing the relief of machines working soundly at Puka Park.  “It makes life so much easier when vehicles are well maintained. These newer buggies are reliable and EZGO customer service makes keeping on top of maintenance really straightforward.”

About Suzy Barry

Suzy Barry
Suzy Barry is the editor of Accom Management Guide, New Zealand. She brings over a decade of editing and journalism to the title, and has experience in wellness tourism.

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