Same-sex weddings boost for Aoraki tourism
The new law that allows same-sex marriage has opened up a new world of possibilities for Aoraki tourism.
Katherine Stanley and Julia Stanley from Melbourne wed at Roundhill skifield in the weekend, and theirs isn't the only same-sex alpine wedding in the pipeline.
Two men will be married at the Hermitage in December and two women in February.
"It's certainly a growing market. We've had quite a lot of inquiries," said Hermitage events co-ordinator Liane Leesment.
The Hermitage has always advertised internationally as a venue for weddings, but with the recent law changes, it has altered the wording in its advertisements to include same-sex couples.
Mrs and Mrs Stanley were keen to make an outing of the wedding, according to guide Gavin Lang.
"A lot of people are choosing to get married somewhere different. My wife and I were married on the summit of Mt Aylmer, at the head of the Tasman Glacier."
A friend of Mr Lang's is also a tourist guide, and he became a celebrant so that he could marry people in Antarctica.
"Everyone has their own significant place. New Zealand laws are extremely forward-thinking. I think sometimes we take it for granted, so it's great to see people coming from overseas to take advantage of it. It's particularly attractive to Australians because it's not far to travel. It's a good way to promote New Zealand," Mr Lang said.
Celebrant Ruth Cochrane said the Stanley wedding was "lovely and just delightful".
"The snow and the gorgeous surroundings - it was quite an incredible, spectacular and, dare I say, spiritual place. There's something about the Mackenzie Country that's grounding and magnificent," Ms Cochrane said.
- © Fairfax NZ News