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Backpackers in world heritage area embrace solar energy on World Environmental Day

In recognition of World Environmental Day Sola60 –New Zealand’s solar heating specialists – and National Park Backpackers have combined forces to keep international travellers in hot water during their stay using the sun’s renewable energy.

Mike Patchings, Commercial Operations for Sola60 said: “We were very excited to take up the challenge of integrating the National Park Backpackers old hot water system with our state of the art solar hot water panels to meet the busy backpacker’s heating demands”.

A solar hot water heating system can provide homes and businesses with 50% to 75% of their annual hot water needs. For the National Park Backpackers this allows them to save money on their energy costs every month and also reduce their carbon footprint, which is a popular development for the backpacking business situated in the pristine world heritage area of Tongariro National Park.

Thomas Whitehead, Owner of the National Park Backpackers said: “The panels located on the north face of the building are a strong eco feature that are seen by passing motorists and visitors alike. Our international visitors are very impressed with our solar heating system and support the fact they are staying in an environmentally friendly accommodation”.

Every Sola60 hot water heating system installed reduces New Zealand’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources by using the sun’s energy. It is calculated that each home system saves around 1.4 tonnes of CO² emissions annually.

Solar heating systems can be installed in new and existing homes and businesses and Sola60 welcomes the challenge.

Mr Patching said: “An existing old Marshall wood burner with a diesel burner backup installed at the National Park Backpackers provided a real technical challenge to over come, but we got there in the end”.

With the varying technology understood and integrated, a price was agreed and the job was completed within a 14 day period by Sola60, delivering real eco friendly benefits and long term cost savings for National Park Backpackers.

Sola60 are proud to be supporting the Step Up Canterbury Expo on World Environmental Day, 5 June 2008 at the Christchurch Convention Centre.


For further information please contact:

Mike Patching, Commercial Operations
Sola60. Phone 07 572 2223

Cressida Gates, Communications Manager Todd Energy. Phone 06 759 5358 / 021 417 237

Notes to Editor:

The National Park Backpackers was open in 1996 and is situated in the world heritage area of Tongariro National Park and a haven for Kiwi & Aussie skiers in the winter and an international destination for back packers from the world, Tongariro & Wanganui adventurers. For more details contact

Sola60 - With over 26 years experience in the solar water heating industry, Sola60 is New Zealand’s largest manufacturer of solar hot water solutions. Sola60 was a founding member of the Solar Industries Association (SIA) and is an accredited solar solutions producer. Sola60 is based in Tauranga, and is 100% New Zealand owned and operated.

All Sola60 systems have been designed to meet the needs of Kiwi homes and businesses and are manufactured in New Zealand utilising premium local and European components. All Sola60’s systems come with a seven-year warranty for peace of mind. Sola60 was the first supplier in New Zealand to achieve the 2007 certification AS/NZS 2712:2007 - assigned to products that have been tested to meet New Zealand quality and performance standards. To find out more visit

Sola60 is a member of the Todd Energy group of companies

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