Lake Wanaka near Queenstown International Airport on New Zealand’s South Island, is surrounded by the Southern Alps. From Wanaka or Queenstown, you are helicoptered, 20 minutes, up to Minaret Station, which is attracting a word-of-mouth clientele who love heli-adventures, guiding fishing, hunting and skiing. Average stay, says Matt Wallis, who owns Minaret Station with his three brothers, and this amount of time is needed because of the activities, and nature, to enjoy. The Station is a working farm, with over 10,000 deer, 7,000 sheep and 1,000 cattle.
You stay, at over 31,000 feet ASL, in one of four private chalets, each 840 sq ft – sleeping up to three – with free minibar, WiFi, Evolu Botanical toiletries, Nespresso machines and private hot tub – the rates are all-inclusive (dinner is three-course gourmet, with great wines). Chef Jeremy Simeon uses local ingredients with Asian flair.
Imagine the logistics, you, and Jeremy Simeon and his team, and your housekeepers and guides, can only reach the lodge by helicopter. All supplies and clean laundry is taken up by chopper, and all refuse and dirty linens are brought down the same way. Yes, they would like to add more chalets but those logistics are causing a challenge.