Business South May 2021

4 | TOURISM Opuke Thermal and Spa Pools: Methven Adventures Thermal resort harnesses renewables T Richard Loader Embracing snow clad vistas of the Southern Alps and positioned on a two-hectare green-field site, Ōpuke hugs the edge of Methven. T to page 6 H arnessing energy from the sun and the purity of glacial waters, Ōpuke Thermal Pools and Spa (Ōpuke) is set to open for winter 2021. Embracing snow clad vistas of the Southern Alps and positioned on a two-hectare green- field site, Ōpuke hugs the edge of Methven, Mid-Canterbury’s ski town. The project is being driven by Methven Adventures, a collective of investors with a bold vision to build a premium-quality and sustainable hot pools and spa facility right in the heart of mid-Canterbury, attracting visitors from all corners of New Zealand and the rest of the world. Project Director James McKenzie says Ōpuke will create a unique point of difference in the hot pools and wellness market, which guests will want to return to time and time again. “We wanted to do something that is a bit different by providing individual experiences for families and for adults as well as offering a world class spa treatment experience.” With the Alps as a magical backdrop, work- ing with renewables was also a key consider- ation in the project’s development and visitor experience. “Through the Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation scheme we were able to connect to the Rangi- tata Diversion Race,” explains James. “That enables us to source glacial water for the pool. To know where your water is coming from is a really important part of the whole bathing experience.” Utilising the sun’s power was another key part of the project. A large solar array will create one megawatt of energy to heat Ōpuke’s glacial waters. “It’s a real statement to say that it is pos- sible to deliver a really sustainable tourism experience that uses renewable energy on site for most of its energy demands. Even on the coldest day, provided the sun is out we’re able to generate enough solar energy to heat the pools.” On very cloudy days when solar energy is negligible, energy to heat the pool’s water is extracted from the atmosphere using electri- cal heat pumps. “It’s quite an efficient process and depend- ing on air temperature you can almost get a 4:1 ratio. It’s really trying to ensure that whatever we do has minimal impact on the environment.” Proud to be associated with the Opuke Thermal Pools & Spa project in Methven Rainer Irrigation - proud to support Opuke Thermal & Spa Pools