Thu, 12th Apr 2012
The latest 12-home neighbourhood at Queenstown’s five-star Millbrook Resort is poised to be launched onto the market, and it’s a stunner.
Nestled within the heart of the new Coronet Nine golf course, the hallmark of Taramea Square is an architectural...more
Mon, 27th Feb 2012
An environmental protection and enhancement programme at one of New Zealand’s leading hotel, golf and spa resorts has seen the landscape restored as a haven for native bird and fish life.
Mill Stream at Queenstown’s five-star Millbrook Resort is the ‘lifeblood’ of the property, an integral and hugely important part of the land when it was a 500-acre wheat farm and water from the stream drove the original flour mill.
Over the years, as farming practices changed the course of the stream and many parts of it became overgrown, wildlife largely disappeared along with a natural wetland.
Millbrook owners are building a multi-million-dollar housing development and have completed a new golf course on land to the west of the original hotel, where they’ve also committed to extensive improvements to Mill Stream banks and wetlands.
The results show a measured improvement of the water quality in the meandering, natural water course, from where it enters the resort to where it leaves. Diverting the stream back to its original alignment has bought an older wetland back to life, resulting in the natural return of fish life and native birdlife.
“The catchment for Mill Stream starts at the base of Coronet Peak, runs through the Millbrook grounds for about 2.1km and makes its way into Lake Hayes,” said Millbrook Property and Development Manager Ben O’Malley.
“In parts of the stream, the root balls of dozens of willow trees lining its banks were literally choking the flow.
“Over the past few years we’ve spent considerable sums clearing most of those trees out and in their place have established native riparian planting that enhances the habitat and water quality.”
Millbrook has recently started construction of a new $150,000 chemical mixing and machinery wash-down facility for its large fleet of golf course and landscape vehicles.
The new facility will upgrade Millbrook’s wastewater filtration to further prevent polluted run-off into Mill Stream.
“As we’ve developed the surrounding land with buildings, the new Coronet Nine golf course, and a commitment to retain 95% open space, we’ve taken extreme care to protect the stream from any development run-off,” said Mr O’Malley.
“Much more than that, we’ve put a programme in place to constantly monitor water quality and have an on-going maintenance programme in place for Mill Stream which will see the last remaining sections cleaned up as soon as possible.”
Mr O’Malley said birdlife now colonising the area included pukekos, scaup, paradise and mallard ducks, shags and white herons.
“Part of the land development for the enjoyment of Millbrook members and members of the public has been the establishment of 2.8km of walking and biking tracks through the resort, much of which follow the course of the stream and lead to the heart of the Millbrook ‘village’ with its restaurants, bar, conference and golf facilities,” he said.
“For members and visitors, being able to play a round of golf alongside the stream and wetlands only adds to the Millbrook experience.”
Mr O’Malley said the Millbrook golf management team was an important part of the preservation and enhancement programme, and had adopted the ‘green’ policies of the American ‘Audubon’* movement, with its mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems
“One of the initiatives introduced is the reduced use of chemicals on the course,” he said.
“As one of New Zealand’s leading five-star accommodation providers, we not only provide our guests, members and visitors with world-class, luxury facilities, but also ensure we remain and continue to improve on our position as an environmentally friendly lifestyle resort.”
Millbrook Resort has a Qualmark Enviro Gold award, which recognises sustainable initiatives employed by tourism businesses in New Zealand, and is the highest environmental grading issued by Qualmark.
In a recent review of the effectiveness of the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) Special Zones -- of which Millbrook is one-- the resort received what Mr O’Malley described as “a very complimentary report card” from QLDC.
“This was especially so in its proactive approach to improving water quality and the environs of Mill Stream,” he said.
“Our stunning alpine setting and rural environment are an essential part of what attracts visitors to Millbrook, and Queenstown as a whole, so preserving it for future generations is foremost in our thoughts.”
*The Audubon programme for golf courses is an international education and certification program that helps golf courses protect environment and preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf. Millbrook is working towards certification under this programme which can take several years. As part of that certification process, Millbrook undertakes regular water quality tests and these tests have consistently shown a reduction in nutrient and suspended solids between the stream entry point to Millbrook and its outflow to Waterfall Park.
- Wildlife has returned to Mill Stream at Millbrook Resort, Queenstown
- Golfers enjoy the tranquil ambience of playing alongside Mill Stream at Queenstown’s Millbrook Resort
For further media information or high res images please contact:
Ben O’Malley Fiona Woodham
Property and Development Manager Director
Millbrook Southern PR Ltd
021 397 608 03 441 1117