She'll make you feel like dancing

The '70s - a decade of alternative living and wild parties - has been relaunched on the waters of Lake Wakatipu.

Those wanting to escape the current decade, with its rap and forgettable pop, can step on to Luanda, a 58ft (17.7m) yacht on Lake Wakatipu, and acquaint or reacquaint themselves with the disco era.

Most recently a charter vessel on Lake Wakatipu under former owner Nigel Brown, the 1960s-constructed boat is now embracing the decade in which it received a major refit and is literally up for anything.

It features a stack of Mills and Boon novels, an abundance of purple, green bathrooms with orange and purple trim, a split sound system, a bar and a 60-inch television screen that lends itself to both gaming and PowerPoint presentations.

Its new owners, Anthony Ruski-Jones and Marcus Barnett, have extensive tourism experience in Queenstown. They took over the boat in October and ran their first charter on December 7, with skipper Andre Cockburn.

The men felt Lake Wakatipu was Queenstown's most under-utilised asset and available cruises catered for the sight-seeing tourist, so The Luanda Experience was born.

''Twenty-five percent of the two million visitors to Queenstown are backpackers,'' Mr Barnett said.

''The '70s was quite a cool scene ... it's probably an era we all wish we were adults in.

''We've still got a few things to finish it off ... just memorabilia.''

Since Queenstown's tourist stores do not quite lend themselves to the cause, the search for appropriate memorabilia is nationwide - though authentic finds can be made in Southland, Mr Ruski-Jones said.

When asked to describe the difference between Luanda and other chartered cruises, ''fun'' and ''groovy'' were two adjectives offered.

Although the boat has a solid '70s outfit, Mr Ruski-Jones said they were encouraging people or companies to ''dress the whole boat up'' with their own theme or company brand.

''We can do anything, really.''

Having a hen or stag party on a boat offered some unusual options, such as having a stripper or similar entertainer arrive on a jet ski to perform.

Since Mr Barnett and Mr Ruski-Jones were already local tourism operators and Mr Cockburn an experienced skipper, the men said they had earned a certain amount of trust with local authorities.

Can the Can

The only cool thing about the 70s was Suzi Quatro. I dont wish to return to the age of fondue as a square meal, thank you.