Husband and wife Daryl and Wanda Whipps took ownership of the Millers Flat Holiday Park at the busiest time of the year.
The couple bought the popular camping ground, located in Teviot Valley on the side of the Clutha river, and moved from Te Anau to take over just five days before Christmas.
Like many of their business decisions, this one was made mostly on gut instinct.
“I spotted it on Trade Me and showed Wanda, and Wanda laughed,” Mr Whipps said.
“Then a week later, she said, `were you serious?’, so we came and had a look.”
After being shown around the property, they walked out, looked at each other and agreed they were “probably going to do this”.
Mrs Whipps has worked in multiple roles in a range of accommodation options, from the Youth Hostel Association to a five-star holiday camp.
Her husband is new to the hospitality industry but not to camping, as they have their own caravan and, until this summer, camped at Glendhu Bay each year.
“We just love the whole camping experience,” he said, and laughed that he told friends about the move – “we’re going camping”.

Breathing easy . . . a severe allergy to Beech pollen was a large factor in new owners of the Millers Flat Holiday Park, Wanda and Daryl Whipps, move from Te Anau. PHOTO: TRACIE BARRETT

One reason for their move from Te Anau, where they had renovated “a 333sq m beautiful home with amazing views of the national park” was that Mr Whipps had developed a serious allergy to beech tree pollen.
“Living in Fiordland didn’t suit his allergies,” Mrs Whipps said.
They had been “super busy” since they took over, getting set up and meeting many of the permanent visitors who returned each year and getting to know the local community.
“We could be here for quite a few years,” Mr Whipps said.
“It’s just got a great community spirit and a really good vibe with it.”