Queenstown’s Winter Festival water baby

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A local scaffolder has had to buy a wetsuit for his latest job – building a stage in the wintry waters of Lake Wakatipu for Queenstown’s biggest party.

Certified Scaffolding boss Graham Millar donned a wetsuit last Friday before beginning work on the Winter Festival stage in front of Earnslaw Park.

Three men are working on the job, but Millar is the only one to get wet, standing up to chest deep in water while securing the scaffolding.

“Being the boss I got the short straw,” he says.

Despite the unusual workplace, building the 12-metre by 10.8m stage about 4m above lake level has gone smoothly.

“Even the water’s been warm – well, when you’ve got a 7mm wetsuit on.”

Millar hopes to have work wrapped up today, with the finishing touches – four metre high speakers – put in place this afternoon.

The lakefront venue will be centre-stage on Friday night when the festival opening party and fireworks kick off Queenstown’s winter bash.