The October Issue

They’re ready to answer the call

We all know they make an impressive crew and one which would be the envy of many small communities. In the past year, between them Omarama’s first responders - Geva Innes, Liz Komen, Georgie Robertson, Bruce Dyson, Charlotte Derosa, Sonya Trusler and Stephanie Lord have attended 46 medical call outs and 36 motor vehicle accidents. It’s been a record year for all Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade volunteers, with 125 calls to the end of June. This year the first responders earned a special mention at the FENZ Omarama Volunteer Fire Brigade honours and awards night. “Omarama doesn’t know how lucky it is5it’s the best anywhere 5we can be really, really proud of our first responders,” Chief Fire Officer Terry Walsh told the gathering of members, former members and supporters. After 11 years’ service as fire fighter/first-responder Bruce was awarded the two-year silver bar, after five years as operations support/first responder Georgie was awarded the five-year medal, and after just a little over six months on the job Charlotte was named first responder of the year. Charlotte was presented with some challenging calls in her first months and had “gone above and beyond the call of duty”, Terry said on the night. “I love it. I’ve got to know lots of lovely locals 5 to experience opportunities I might never have had otherwise,” Charlotte says. She says with each new challenge she has grown in confidence.. . .
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BigSky Motels

Last month’s official opening of Omarama’s latest accommodation complex, BigSky Motels, was a “dream come to fruition”, owners Hank and Kay Verheul say. The luxury motels, situated in a quiet back street away from state highways, were designed and built by the couple specifically to meet the needs of independent travellers, especially those taking cycle tours of the Alps to Ocean route. With growing numbers visiting the area and using the trails they could see potential in the idea of providing premium accommodation specifically for the cycle tourism market, Kay says. The couple, who have run BigSky Bed and Breakfast for more than 10 years, have enjoyed sharing their “piece of paradise” with guests from all over the world, and so were eager to investigate and develop this concept. However, this new project could not have come to fruition without the help and support of local subcontractors, friends and family, Hank says. Hank and Kay will continue to run BigSky Bed and Breakfast but have employed experienced managers Brian Hammond and Pam Young as their motel hosts. Brian and Pam recently returned from their own overseas travels and know first-hand what the independent traveller needs at the end of a day exploring. Let’s begin with luxurious showers. Then again, the motel’s seven units (two one-bedroom apartments, four studio units and a wheelchair accessible unit) are all about relaxation and comfort. Each unit has, for instance, a smart TV, a kitchenette, plus a patio where you can enjoy a wine and watch the sunset in Omarama’s celebrated and starlit big sky. And they have thought of everything. There is off-street parking, and for the cyclist there is a large cycle shed with cleaning facilities provided. Omarama is the perfect location from which to base your high-country holiday with numerous outdoor activities on hand at any time of the year. To the north there is Aoraki-Mt Cook and the Mackenzie Country, and Twizel is only a 20-minute drive from the motels. To the South is Queenstown and Central Otago, and to the east are the Waitaki Lakes, Victorian Oamaru and the coast. To find out more check out the website or give Pam or Brian a call.

BigSky Motels
52 Ahuriri Drive, Omarama 9412
Phone: +64 3 4389538