Unique lake attraction floated for Frankton

An Australian entrepreneur and engineer’s planning a novel way to soak in Queenstown’s scenery.

Tim McMahon’s lodged a resource consent application for New Zealand’s first floating sauna and plunge experience.

The sauna building — including two electrically-powered six-person saunas and a contained plunge pool — would be on a floating pontoon
attached to moorings at the end of a pier in the Frankton marina.

McMahon chose local architects Hyndman Taylor who’ve designed a compact building with a curved roof mimicking the hull of a boat, the curvilinear breakwater and the Remarkables mountains beyond.

Melbourne-based McMahon is calling his attraction ‘Aluume’ — a mix of ‘allure’ and ‘illuminate’.

He says his inspiration comes from similar concepts in Japan, Scandinavian countries and Tasmania, and he’s chosen Queenstown ‘‘because I think it fits really well with that alpine lake environment’’.

He believes it complements the resort’s growing wellness sector.

Inspired by Queenstown: Tim McMahon

‘‘Contrast therapy and sauna experiences are growing rapidly in popularity in the pursuit of enhanced health and wellbeing.

‘‘As an ancient practice with proven health benefits, hot and cold therapy is gaining momentum.

‘‘With that in mind, I saw an opportunity to bring to life an elevated sauna and plunge experience that integrates seamlessly with the beauty of Lake Whakatipu.’’

McMahon says for those who’d consider the cold plunge too adventurous, ‘‘we’re looking to put in like a monsoon shower as well’’.

While having ‘‘a high-end feel’’, he’s wanting to make the attraction accessible to locals as well as visitors, he says.

Prices would start at $30 — bookings would be for an hour, though there’d be the option of shorter sessions.

One of the marina’s floating sheds will be the check-in facility, while the sauna building will include two changing rooms.

Subject to resource consent, McMahon’s hoping to launch late this year or early next year.

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