Way before The Lord of The Rings cast its spell on Middle-earth tourism, New Zealand’s very own wizard waved his magic wand to officially open one of most spellbinding holiday parks. Fast forward 30 years and Creeksyde Holiday Park and Motels celebrates three decades of good times, great friends and sustainable business.
Owners Tonnie and Erna Spijkerbosch opened Creeksyde in 1988, just as campervan touring was set to boom…and so it did with the park’s annual guest nights now numbering more than 75,000.
In one of central Queenstown’s last green spaces, the park is a peaceful, leafy oasis with blooming gardens and ducks quacking along the banks of picturesque Horne Creek.
“Things have changed enormously in the last 30 years,” Tonnie said.
“We’ve always tried to meet our customers’ needs without being greedy. As we’ve created new space for our visitors, we’ve given constant consideration to how they might appreciate and enjoy that space.”
Built from scratch, Creeksyde has evolved organically to become New Zealand’s quirkiest and most colourful holiday park. A craftsman plumber and consummate DIY, Tonnie is responsible for many of the park’s curiosities. There’s a ‘Tapas’ barbecue pavilion with tractor seats and a fence made from faucets and radiators and the Oast House toilet block was built with timbers salvaged from a historic brewery.
Creeksyde’s 30th birthday party saw the unveiling of a new, commemorative artwork involving a hay scoop, a hemp cargo net and an outsized arachnid.
“It’s a folly,” says Erna. “We hope it encourages people to look back at the past and make use of what they already have, rather than always wanting everything new.”
Upcycling isn’t Creeksyde’s only commitment to sustainability. In 2004 it became the first holiday park in the world to be EarthCheck Certified. With a dedicated team and 15 continuous years committed to sustainability, the park achieved EarthCheck Master to become the only park in New Zealand and one of just 15 in the world to attain this certification!
Creeksyde’s team receiving a variety business and tourism accolades including the AA’s Spirit of Hospitality Award. In 2011 the Holiday Parks Association of New Zealand, of which the Spijkerbosch’s are life members, honoured Erna with an award for Outstanding Contribution to the Holiday Park Industry.
In 2015 after 28 years at the helm, Erna and Tonnie welcomed Duncan Ridd as their General Manager. Taking a step back from day-to-day duties has given Erna and Tonnie more time to continue to contribute to the local community including working on initiatives that will benefit smaller Central Otago towns. In Naseby the Spijkerbosch family and Creeksyde have sponsored the installation of a summer luge, reconstructed from Coronet Peak’s 1980s Cresta Run.
“Little did we know it in 1988. Creeksyde was a retirement project that morphed into a whole new way of life. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that charity begins at home,” says Erna.
“We encourage businesses in thriving towns to reach out to one of their smaller neighbours to see if they create a synergy. That way the benefits can be shared throughout the wider community.”
To book a sustainable holiday at Queenstown Holiday Park & Motels Creeksyde visit www.camp.co.nz