Just over a year ago we were granted the permits to begin construction on Lakestone Lodge. It has been an eventful year in an extreme environment and we have experienced the full force of the seasons in the last 12 months. The big snowfall in June saw temperatures drop to -20 degrees “This was a big challenge for us working in such cold conditions but it reinforced the decision to ensure the building was very well insulated. There were a few days there where snowboarding down the driveway in half a meter of snow was more of an attraction than building. One interesting learning curve from that experience was to find out that anti-freeze can actually freeze.
Spring brought a period of very strong winds estimated up to be 200km/hr, another good test for the building and a reminder that everything external to the building needs to be tied down well. Another tough lesson was learnt when a pallet of building materials which was weighted down with rocks was picked up by the wind and scattered over the building site and some crashed back into the building, undoing the work the builder had spent the last week doing.
The extremely hot conditions during summer ensured the grass was tinder dry and there were two separate grass fires on the same day both within 1km of the lodge. Fortunately the winds were not blowing towards the lodge and crews managed to put them out before major damage occurred but this proved a good reminder of the importance of fire breaks and fire planning. It was a good test for the new helipad but not an ideal situation.
There have definitely been some challenges and steep learning curves throughout these 12 months working in extreme conditions. Fortunately they haven’t hampered the building process too drastically and the Lodge is still on schedule to open in June this year. Luckily most the days are absolutely stunning and it makes all the challenges worthwhile.
We moved into the managers residence in December which was extremely exciting after so many years of planning. Getting to wake up on Christmas morning in our new house to see the sunrise on Aoraki Mt Cook and over Lake Pukaki, it was the ultimate Christmas present.”
Since living in the lodge it’s really the sunrises and sunsets that are the best. Normally people travel past Lake Pukaki during the day thereby missing the opportunity to experience this spectacular event. We look forward to be able to share this special time of day with our guests.
Everything is on schedule for an their first bookings in June 2016 and we are in the finishing stages of construction and are working on the infinity edged heated lap pool that will line up directly with Aoraki Mt Cook from the lounge. Its a shame we didn't get to make the most of it this summer which has been very warm but we are looking forward to it for next year!