The most sustainable accommodation ever built in New Zealand has opened in the foothills of the Southern Alps.
Camp Glenorchy, a 40-minute drive from Queenstown, aims to set new standards in ecotourism.
It has been designed according to the Living Building Challenge™ – one of the world’s the most rigorous sustainability standards.
It boasts the South Island’s largest solar garden and three wetlands developed to collect and fully process all wastewater onsite, producing clean water for irrigation of native plant landscaping.
Camp Glenorchy’s resource-efficient guest accommodation comes in a range of budget options, from seven cabins to two bunkhouses and seven powered RV/campervan sites with common areas for guests.
It sits within a region is famed for its beautiful movie locations and for being the launch point for some of the country’s best known hiking trails, water-based adventures and access to two national parks.
Aside from providing comfortable accommodation, the development is designed to promote learning about sustainable tourism.
“Camp Glenorchy aims to educate, inspire and delight guests by showcasing some of the most innovative and energy-efficient products in the world,” said creator Paul Brainerd.
“One example is our commitment to achieving Net Zero energy use. Our large solar garden, smart lighting, energy-efficient building designs and highly-efficient heat systems reduce energy demand while creating a comfortable and enjoyable experience for our guests.”
Buildings are connected to the guest booking system, allowing rooms to be heated only when needed and the right amount of hot water to be stored for the number of people in each room. Composting toilets are expected to save about 300,000 litres of water per year, and LED lighting used is so efficient that the lighting load for each three-bedroom cabin is equivalent to a single 200-watt light bulb.
Camp Glenorchy is the third stage of a tourism development known as The Headwaters, and its profits will go to the local Glenorchy Community Trust to support initiatives that enhance the liveability and vibrancy of the small town.
Mr Brainerd and his wife, Debbi, hope the development will inspire guests to embrace sustainability ideas in their own homes, workplaces and communities.
“We’ve tried to create an experience at Camp Glenorchy that integrates the latest technology, while also delivering a warm, friendly experience to our guests,” said Debbi.
“Recycled and reclaimed materials with amazing textures and history were given preference over new ones, including material from old woolsheds from throughout the South Island and demolished buildings that fell in the Christchurch earthquakes.”
Pricing ranges from NZD$75 for a shared bunkroom bed per night, to NZD$395 per night for an ensuite king or split-king singles cabin room.