Glamping, a glamorous form of camping, is helping meet growing demand for accommodation at Lake Tekapo during the warmer months.
Andrea and Gavin Cox, who manage Lake Tekapo Motels and Holiday Park and Lake Front Lodge Backpackers, first offered glamping tents two summers ago as a form of accommodation for Kiwi Experience clients.
“We needed extra beds,” Mrs Cox said.
Kiwi Experience, a bus touring company, supplied Mr and Mrs Cox with their first five Lotus Belle tents, which were available to the couple’s other customers when Kiwi Experience was not using them.
The tents are equipped with futon-style beds.
“They were so, so popular that the next year we went and bought some of our own,” Mrs Cox said.
The idea has since expanded to 11 glamping tents of various sizes available from November to April spread across the Coxes’ businesses, including six at their backpacker site and five at the holiday park.
“They were basically full every night,” Mrs Cox said.
“From them, we generated an extra 55 beds a night. We really put them in because of demand, because .. we couldn’t provide enough beds for our own guests.
“They are so popular. People love them.”
Mrs Cox said while international guests used them, they were particularly popular among New Zealanders.
“Kiwis get it, and they love it.
“Kids want to go camping, but you can’t be bothered putting up a tent – [so parents think] let’s go glamping,” she said.
Clients can hire complete tents at the holiday park, where they have access to facilities.
The tents at the backpackers site are available to rent like shared dorm beds, and clients have access to the backpacker facilities, along with recently developed alfresco kitchen and porta-com toilet and shower facilities.
Glamping’s popularity has prompted the Coxes to expand their venture even further this coming summer after buying two smaller Lotus Belle tents designed for couples.
An area would be cleared to make way for the extra tents, she said.
“It’s a good way to get the extra beds if you don’t have time for building, which is always a problem around here.
“We are fortunate here that we’ve got quite a bit of space so we can put more in.”