The long, hot summer might be great for tourists, but what of those in the engine room of the tourism industry?

Cameron Mackenzie is one of those keeping the wheels, or more precisely, the propellers of the industry turning.

He is a stoker on board Queenstown's TSS Earnslaw, which plies the cool waters of Lake Wakatipu.

The heat is on Cameron Mackenzie.
The heat is on Cameron Mackenzie.

When this young man goes to work, it's nothing for him to have some hot moments - in the region of 50degC.

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"We get about 30 to 50degC down here, but luckily we've got the overhead fans that keep us cool," says Mackenzie.

Mackenzie shovels coal into the old steamer's furnace every six minutes, and cools off between times with a fan and a dousing of cold water.

Queenstown's TSS Earnslaw.
Queenstown's TSS Earnslaw.

But, despite the temperature, Mackenzie loves a job available, these days, to only a very few.

And, he says, it saves him an annual gym subscription as well.