A tourist attraction based on renewable energy

Deaton’s family in one of the hot tubs.

New Zealand’s first renewable energy-focused hot tub and electric bike cruise destination has been established in Wānaka.

LandEscape Wānaka is set amongst some of the country’s most spectacular scenery on a working farm on Camp Hill Road between Lakes Wānaka and Hāwea. The attraction will include 15km of gentle and scenic purpose-built cycle trails, eight natural-style outdoor hot tubs and six stargazing glasshouses.

The Deaton family have owned the property since 1991, but Rik Deaton LandEscape’s owner, has wondered for a long time about the best way to share it with the broader community and visitors to the Wānaka area. “The genesis of the idea came to us in the mid 90’s when Juliet and I were on a prolonged motorhome trip in Europe (as in three years touring) and became interested in renewable energy almost accidentally. We ended up structuring the rest of our trip around visiting as many interesting demonstration sites and trade shows as we could find in those early days of the commercialisation of renewables and there was a lot to see even then,” said Deaton.  

He added, “The hot tub operation out on the farm will allow us to demonstrate some very interesting thermal energy systems and, within a few years, eliminate energy as a cost centre of the business altogether. We intend to create a whole-of-site combined heat and power smart micro-grid to allow us to become energy independent on site but remain grid-tied and a net electricity exporter.” Deaton’s primary focus will always be to provide a really wonderful visitor experience, but the energy concepts will be lurking in the background as an added educational dimension to the offering, demonstrating their intention to do much in their own small way. 

LandEscape Wānaka will include 15km of gentle and scenic purpose-built cycle trails, eight natural-style outdoor hot tubs and six stargazing glasshouses. Further development, including more hot tubs, accommodation, a restaurant and bar, is planned for the future. 

The e-bikes will also be available for hire anywhere in Wānaka and can be rented from the LandEscape booking office in downtown Wānaka. “As we all know, Wānaka has no public transport system and we intend to use our e-bike fleet to bridge that gap. E-bikes are the short to medium distance component of the electric vehicle revolution, and a revolution it is. For certain we will witness the end of the ICE —  the internal combustion engine — within a decade and all other fossil fuel-based energy systems will shortly follow,” shared Deaton. 

The first stage of LandEscape will be complete towards the end of November this year and will comprise four hot tubs each boasting spectacular mountain and valley vistas. Another four tubs will be added over subsequent months. Guests are currently able to book one of two hot tubs already commissioned and in operation, located close to the LandEscape Ride Centre.


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