Home' The Mirror Central Otago : May 29th 2013 Contents 29.5.13
FROM small beginnings, to a site which now encompasses several acres
of camping pleasure, the destination, located a short distance from the
centre of Queenstown, has many stories to tell of its development and
Creeksyde started with simple beginnings and a simple goal: 36 sites,
no staff and with just Tonnie and Erma managing the business. That
was always how the couple intended the site to be with the aim of
establishing a homely destination, rather than a sophisticated one, but
success coupled with opportunities and awards soon changed all that.
"Twenty-five years ago when we bought our first piece of land for our
staff for our plumbing business, that was always how we intended it
to be," Erna said. "Then we looked around and said to ourselves that
people who were coming into the area in their campervans deserved
something better for their Queenstown experience than what was
available at the time."
What has evolved now forms the basis of the Creeksyde Park's
Turn the clock on twenty-five years to today, and the complex now
boasts 75 sites, 24 units and 20 staff.
"Over the years we grew with a gradual acquisition of land; from ¾ of
an acre to 3 ½ acres. As each adjoining property became available, we
bought it, and Tonnie began to work his magic around the entire site. "
Solar heating has been fitted across the entire complex, with the 'steam
punk park' well worth a visit by travellers.
"You can still see the original sections, but we can't grow any further
now as there are roads all around us."
Set alongside Horne Creek, the tranquil garden setting has rapidly
become a popular destination, its proximity to town and within easy
walking distance, a huge bonus for the site and a drawcard for visitors.
Although originally established for camper vans, the Creeksyde of
today provides a range of accommodation options to meet all needs,
group sizes and budgets.
Reflecting on the past twenty-five years, some might say that the spell
that the Christchurch wizard cast on its opening day all those years
ago could explain the success and the awards the site has won over
time: But the commitment from Tonnie and Erna and their team of
employees through the years has been the important part and integral
to the success of Creeksyde Park.
THE couple's philosophy is to endeavour to work
alongside their staff as 'family'.
"We try to look after them as best we can, aiming
to give them not only a living wage but also
guaranteed hours. If you care about them, they
will care about us and the business. We don't have
a pyramid -- we have a wheel. Everyone works
The return of some of these workers over time
epitomises the Spijkerbosch's attitudes and care.
"A few started work here in Queenstown as
International workers, and are now New Zealand
citizens," Erna said. "Some staff members are even
recycled! They have gone away and then come back
to work here -- there's obviously no place like home
which is how many of them see Creeksyde."
Because many of the staff are now locals, their
knowledge on the area is extensive: they've been
there, tried it so they can advise on excursions and
things to do for people staying at Creeksyde -- even
before a visitor arrives to take up their booking as
they are happy to answer email queries.
It's all part of the exceptional service.
At Creeksyde, they pride themselves on helping
visitors get the most out of their stay to ensure their
holiday park experience, is memorable, unique and
full of delightful surprises.
It's been an amazing journey
over 25 years for Creeksyde Park
proprietors Tonnie and Erna
Robins Rd, Queenstown
Tonnie and Erna Spijkerbosch have quite a large 'family'. At last count, it
numbered around 20, but if they looked back through the years, the family
size would be considerably larger than this.
'It's not every business which enables you
to sell a little bit of land night after night,
and yet still own it." - Erna
During these years, many milestones, expansions, return guests, awards, and friendships have been
made by the couple and if the park itself could talk, there would be tales a plenty to be heard.
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