FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Booking information

How many SkyScapes are there?

There are three separate SkyScapes units(SkyBeds), each in there own private location, hidden in scrub and bush so you cannot see the other units.

What is the differences between each of the SkyScapes?

Each of the SkyBeds are the same in design, with just a couple of small adaptations to improve thermal performance.

Each SkyBed overlooks the Mackenzie Basin in the same direction, providing a spectacular view from all.

Can I select a particular SkyBed?

No, we allocate SkyBeds depending on availability, multiple nights required and maintenance. Each SkyBed is the same in design and has the same view.

You will be sent an email in the week prior to your stay with confirmation of room number and self-check in directions.

If you have stayed at SkyScape before and would like to experience a different SkyBed, please contact us.

Group bookings

You can book multiple SkyBeds in one booking via our webpage. Visit the ‘Book Now’ tab and select your date of stay and then click on the green ‘book’ button. This adds your selected date to ‘Your cart’ below. Now you can select the number of SkyBeds required.

The SkyBeds are separated from each other for privacy. The closest two are 250m apart and an easy walk between the two. The third unit is a little further away at 400m.

The rooms are only 35m2 and are designed to comfortably fit two people. Four people can be accommodated easily for a social drink, where as six is getting pretty tight. Some of the appeal of SkyScape is to get away from the world and take time out alone or with a special person.

Do you have SkyBeds for more than 2 people?

Unfortunately no. Each SkyBed is designed for two people in a king bed. However, if you have multiple people in your group you can book several SkyBeds. The king bed is not able to be split into two singles.

How many nights should I stay?

We recommend 2 or 3 nights as this allows you to really relax and make the most of your experience. Most guests say one night is not enough and they wish they’d stayed longer!

Standard cancellation policy

No cancellation fee up to 30 days prior to stay.

If cancelled within 30 days of arrival or in the case of no-show, the total price (100%) of the reservation will be charged.

Covid-19 cancellation policy

We have an amended cancellation policy during Covid -19 pandemic: If you are unable to travel to SkyScape due to a Government imposed travel restriction, you reservation can be rescheduled at no extra cost. Alternatively, a full refund will be given.

Covid-19 Vaccination

SkyScape is able to welcome both vaccinated and unvaccinated guests at all levels of the traffic light system, as we offer a contactless stay.

Covid-19 Health and Safety

Skyscape is committed to your safety and we have robust procedures in place; Contactless payment/Contactless self check in /Contactless stay.

We hold a Qualmark Covid Clean Certification. Rooms are aired each day and high touch surfaces disinfected.

Nightly rate

Currently a night at SkyScape is NZ$600. Please see our ‘Book Now’ page of our website for the most up to date pricing.

Vouchers

Vouchers can be purchased by emailing us at info@skyscape.co.nz. A basic voucher is for one nights accommodation, including breakfast and is valid for one year. Payment is usually made by invoice but credit cards can be accepted. Once payment is made we can post you out a printed vouchers or we have instant e-vouchers if you require it in a hurry.

Accessibility

Is Skyscape wheelchair accessible?

One building is accessible, meeting the building code 4121. Amenities include a ramp down to a sunken courtyard, a walk in shower with handrails and a fold down wall seat, floating vanity and accessible toileting facilities . A floating kitchen table and wheel chair access to the sink, low shelves and drawers for accessible access. Please note that accessing the outdoor bath may be challenging for those with limited mobility.

Please notify us at the time of booking if you wish to stay in our accessible room.

Cuisine

Breakfast

A continental breakfast is provided which can be prepared in the kitchenette.

This includes a selection of Muesli, Yoghurt, Fresh Fruit, Bread, Local Jam, Milk, Juice, Tea, Instant Coffee and Plunger Coffee.

Evening Meal options

An evening dinner platter or salad is available on request. At least 24 hours notice is required to ensure we have supplies on site.

· Option One- Evening Meal Platter for 2. Local cheeses, local cold smoked salmon, salami, chutney, fresh vegetable sticks, pickles, grapes, fresh bread and crackers. This is large in size and most people don’t finish it. $85

· Option Two – The Ultimate Salad for 2. This lighter option includes leafy salad greens, local feta cheese, local cold smoked salmon, pickled beetroot, cherry tomatoes, orange segments, sweet lemon dressing and fresh bread. $65

Restaurants in Twizel

– empty – 

Self Catering

You are welcome to bring your own easy to prepare food in the small kitchenette.

See question for Kitchen Facilities.

Minibar/BYO

There is a basic mini bar that you can purchase from in the SkyScape fridge. With a choice of 2 red wines, 2 white wines, cider, beer and lemonade. You are welcome to bring your own.

Inside SkyScape

Wifi

Wifi is available. However, we do challenge our guests to ‘Switch off’ for at least a portion of their stay in order to truly appreciate this unique landscape without interruptions.

Kitchen facilities

Our kitchens all have a double gas stove top, small fridge, toaster, kettle. There is no oven or microwave as these require large amounts of power and we are off the grid.

 

The kitchen does have:

a pot

a pan

plates / bowls

cutlery

coffee plunger

coffee cups

water and wine glasses/ flutes

assortment of cooking utensils.

salt and pepper

 

Breakfast is supplied, plus tea and coffee ( see Cuisine questions for more details)

Bathroom facilities

Each SkyBed has a fully functional bathroom with large shower, toilet and vanity. We provide body wash, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. Bath towels, face cloths and hand towels are also provided for our guests. To keep you nice and cosy as you pop out to the outdoor bath, there are two comfy robes available to use.

Blinds

Yes, each SkyBed has pull up rollerblinds on the side windows for that extra little bit of privacy. There is a roof blind to help keep the bedroom cool, it does not fully cover the roof and full moon can be very bright. We provide sleeping masks for our guests.

How private is SkyScape?

SkyScape is located on a 6000 acre High Country Station, providing you with a unique and private experience. 60 acres has been retired from farming, allowing the flora and fauna to regenerate and provide privacy for each SkyBed. There nearest visible neighbour is over 10km away and is hard to spot without knowing where to look.

How far apart are the SkyBeds?

Each building is located on it’s own and in such a way that you cannot see one building from the other. Their private and secluded location provides you with the feeling of being alone in the vast Mackenzie Country. The closest distance between the buildings is approximately 250m.

Guest privacy

Please respect other guest’s privacy by not attempting to walk near or visit the other buildings. You may explore the immediate area around the building you are staying in but please do not venture further unless following the main access track. Please see info on walking/biking on the farm.

Each SkyScape unit is fitted with blinds for added privacy.

Walking/biking on the farm

You can walk/bike on the main access track that you drove in. You are welcome to explore other farm tracks on foot/bike. Please take the SkyScape phone with you so you can ring us if you need assistance. Please do not venture near the other SkyScape buildings to respect the privacy of other guests. You are welcome to bring your own bikes.

Cooling

Concrete mass, ventilation, extraction fans, roof blinds and an air conditioning unit all help keep the SkyBed cool in summer. However, during the height of summer the rooms can still become very hot and we encourage people to head out and explore the wonderful region during the heat of the day.

Aircons

The air conditioning unit can only be used to cool the room. If the sun is out, we will have lots of solar power, so you are encouraged to leave the air con on for the whole day, even if you are not in the building.

Please try not to use the air conditioning unit once the sun has gone down. If the room is still hot when you are ready to sleep then you can turn it on for short bursts to make it comfortable to sleep. However, we do not have the battery capacity for the air conditioner to run all night.

 

Air con is not available in winter.

Heating

The SkyBeds are heated using central heating (radiators). These are thermostatically controlled to ensure your SkyBed remains warm and cosy, even on the coldest of Mackenzie nights. The radiators are pre-set to turn on when the room temperate drops. You can turn them off by adjusting the dial on the radiator if you are finding it too warm.

Can the SkyBeds be made into two single beds?

No, the bed configuration is only a King Bed. Because the units are located in separate locations storing and rearranging beds is very challenging.

Outdoor baths

The outdoor bath is heated by a Valiant Combi Boiler. This instantly heats the water on request.

Allow 40mins to fill this super-size, stainless steel bath!

Water

Pure, fresh water is sourced from a nearby spring. This spring, which comes from deep under the Ben Ohau Range, is as pure as it gets and is free from contaminants. No chlorine is added, just 100% pure NZ water. Water is put through a two part filtration system.

Off Grid

SkyScape is completely off grid. Using solar, gas and a backup generator for cloudy days. Please conserve energy where possible.

Hairdryer

We would like to apologise for not having a hair dryer available. SkyScape relies 100% on solar power and unfortunately a hair dryer requires a large amount of electricity to run.

If you have a hairdryer and feel you need to use it please consider doing so while the sun is out and at a time when other electrical appliances (i.e. the toaster or air conditioning) are not running.

A shower cap is provided for your convenience.

Contact / support

How do I contact you during my stay?

Each SkyScape unit has a mobile phone that is programmed with Bevan and Bridget’s numbers so that they can be contacted at any time.

Is there a reception / staff on site?

No, we don’t have a reception on site but each unit has a mobile phone that you can contact staff 24hrs a day.

Other questions

Are drones allowed?

Drones are not allowed unless permission has been given. Other guests will need to be notified by us before Drones are used. Drone use, with permission, is only in the immediate area around your unit and not near the other SkyScape buildings.

Non smoking rooms

All SkyScape rooms are strictly non-smoking. Smoking outside does pose a fire risk so if you must, please insure butts are disposed of safely and not thrown into the long grass.

Can I bring children?

Unfortunately we cannot accommodate children under the age of 16. This includes new born babies. The rooms design is not suitable and the farm surrounding poses a large risk. We are sorry about this but rest assured they grow up so quickly so enjoy them while you can and make a plan to visit SkyScape once they are old enough to be left.

Can I take my pet?

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate dogs or other pets at SkyScape. The building design is not suitable and dogs especially pose a risk to stock on a working farm.

Getting there

Directions/ Self check in

In the week before you stay you will receive an email with confirmation of your room number and directions for self-check in. Please check your junk mail especially if using Hotmail.

Access tack

Ben Ohau Road turns off from the Glen Lyon canal road and is a gravel road. From the end of Ben Ohau road SkyScape is approximately 4km further on a well formed gravel track, with two uphill sections. The access track to SkyScape is accessible for 2WD vehicles all year (except in snow!) Please only drive on the SkyScape access track. Visitors are not permitted to drive throughout the farm as it can disturb the animals. Most of the farm tracks are not suitable for 2WD vehicles so please do not attempt to drive on any other tracks than the main access track.

Please take your time when driving on the uneven farm tracks.

 

Lowered cars can get up to SkyScape if they take it slowly.

Do I need a 4WD?

4WD are not essential in winter (June-Aug) but are recommended, not only for the SkyScape access track but also for Mackenzie roads which at this time of year can be very icy.

Snow/Ice

During the winter months of June-Aug we can occasionally get snow and frosty conditions. Staff are on standby to support you getting in and out if need be. If snow is predicted we may suggest you leave your vehicle at our house, 47 Ben Ohau road and we transfer you up in our 4WD.

In the unlikely event that the track is impassable we will use heavy machinery to clear the track and help you to safely get your vehicle out of SkyScape. If you are feeling uncertain about driving due to icy conditions then please ring the office for advice.

Arriving on bikes/A20 track

The Alps to Ocean cycle way follows Glen Lyon Road along the canal and passes Ben Ohau Road. In total it is a 4km from the canal on gravel into SkyScape. It is suitable for mountain bikes but not road bikes. There are two uphill sections, one in particular is particularly grunty!

Driving times from CHCH/Queenstown airport (not allowing for photo stops!)

Christchurch airport – 3:40mins Approx

Queenstown airport – 2:30mins Approx

Driving time from Twizel

Allow 15mins to drive from Twizel to SkyScape.

General Information & Sightseeing

Where is the closest grocery store?

Twizel (15mins drive) has two supermarkets. The Mackenzie Four Square is the larger of the two and has more selection. This is located near the large carpark in the Market Square. The Twizel Four Square is smaller and is located on Tasman road, opposite the Top Hut Bar.

Is it safe to sleep under a glass roof?

The whole building, including the glass roof has been engineered to the highest level of building standards in NZ. The roof can support a heavy dump of snow and the whole building can cope with winds of over 220km/h. Rest assured, you are very safe inside this unique building.

Will I see the stars?

We cannot control the weather, so some nights the stars may not be visible due to cloud cover. However, just watching clouds move across the sky on a moonlit night is almost as impressive. The good news is, our weather is constantly changing and it is very unusual for it to be cloudy all night. Guests regularly report how it cleared during the night only to cloud back over again. Some of the best nights guests have reported are during a thunder storm! This said, there are no guarantees and we unfortunately cannot offer a refund if you don’t see the stars. Sleeping under glass you can’t help but be wowed by whatever ‘show’ mother nature chooses to give you.

How dark will it be?

The darker it is the better the star viewing will be. With almost zero light pollution, it is one of the premier places in the world to view the stars. Please be prepared for the darkness that surrounds the unit on a moonless night.

Is there a telescope in the room?

There is no telescope in the rooms. We have tried this but telescopes are technical to set up and for a person with limited experience are difficult to use. Instead we have high powered binoculars which are great for observing the moon and spying on the livestock in the paddock!

Is there a BBQ?

There is not a BBQ available at SkyScape. The Mackenzie region has a high fire risk and so no BBQ is included.

What do I have to know for my summer stay (Dec- Feb)?

Prepare for heat! During the middle of the day the SkyScape room can get very hot. Even with the air con on, you will need the windows and doors open, with fly screens closed to stop flies and insects. We encourage you to get our and explore the Mackenzie region during the heat of the day or relax under the umbrella in the courtyard at SkyScape. The room will cool down in the evening once the sun is off the building.

What do I have to know for my winter stay (June- Aug)?

Central heating will keep you toasty and warm inside SkyScape. Care needs to be taken on the steps during icy conditions. Snow is unlikely to impact access (see section on snow). Winter nights are long with crisper air, giving more opportunity to see the stars, as the weather is constantly changing.

What about the shoulder seasons?

Sept-Nov and March-April are great times of year to come. It is not too hot inside or cold outside, there is a good amount of night time (dark) hours to see the stars and the weather is generally settled. May can get fog and October wind but this is very variable.

What time of year am I most likely to see the hoar frosts or get snow?

Hoar frosts generally occur late June- July. Although this totally depends on weather patterns at the time. Hoar frosts occur when a freezing fog descends on the Mackenzie Basin turning everything into a beautiful winter wonderland, looking like a thin layer of snow. This can also impact on star gazing although the general trend is for the fog to lift at night when the air is cooler and then drop again as the sun comes up.

Snow will generally drop two or three times a year at SkyScape and usually not be on the ground for long. This can happen any time between June- Aug.

Will I see the Southern lights?

The Southern lights can occasionally be seen to the south of SkyScape, however it is not common. We are not far enough south to regularly see them and they are dependent on solar storms being active.

Shopping

The Market Square has a few little gems in it if you have time for browsing . Sweet Moos icecream parlour and Moostique Gastromarket, Twizel Bookshop and Jakes Hardware has everything you could ever want or need!

What our guests say…
“Magnificent!!! Truely beautiful by day and night. Sitting in the bath with a glass or red watching the night sky was delightful. A brilliant idea beautifully created.”
“I think this may be the best place in the world! I watched the stars from 3am until 6am. Never have I experienced anything like this. Words and pictures do not do this place any compliments.”
“Wow, What an experience! Such a magical place, from incredible sunrises, silhouetting mountains to star gazing at night. Words and pictures do not do it justice.”

Book your stay with us this season.