A resource consent application for a game-changing ‘regenerative’ visitor attraction near Glenorchy is being publicly notified today.

The Future is Wild @ The Hillocks, based around a cluster of conical hills called The Hillocks, will see visitors guided along a nature trail interspersed with four ‘hides’.

Inside these they’ll use VR (virtual reality) headsets to go back in time to when the extinct moa and other creatures roamed the area, and even further back to when the ice age shaped the landscape.

The project — said to be a world-first linking of an out door/VR group experience — is a partnership between landowner Gerhard Sieber and
Arrowtown-based Jeremy Railton.

German-born Sieber — who bought Dart Valley Station, which incorporates The Hillocks, in 2016 — owns the intellectual property of the global TV and publishing franchise, The Future is Wild, which derives from a popular 2002 TV series of the same name.

Show and tell: From left, The Future is Wild @ The Hillocks director Gerhard Sieber showing stock dam age to matagouri on his farm to UK Nuffield scholar Claire Taylor and Te Tapu O Tāne’s Richard Lumsden and Jana Davis

The directors have teamed up with local iwi-owned conservation charity Te Tapu O Tāne — part of the project involves restoring native vegetation, including 100,000-plus trees, that’ll be seeded from an on-site nursery.

Each group of visitors will also be given ownership of a tree that’ll be planted.

Beyond that, Sieber and Railton hope their visitors will feel empowered to become ‘eco-crusaders’ as a result of what they experience at The Hillocks.

The pair say they requested the council publicly notify their application to help spread the word and encourage feedback — they’ll also be holding open days.

Sieber has said they’re hoping the attraction, which is costing well over $10 million to develop, will be up and running late next year.

A feasibility study was completed with funding from Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s innovation tourism recovery programme.

The project’s website is fiw.co.nz

[email protected]

- Advertisement -