Free­dom camp­ing sites to get up­grade

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

A move to im­prove pop­u­lar free­dom camp­ing sites in Cen­tral Otago will help man­age campers in spe­cific ar­eas rather than hav­ing them scat­tered across the dis­trict, Cen­tral Otago Mayor Tim Cado­gan says.

Sev­eral pop­u­lar Cen­tral Otago free­dom camp­ing sites are about to get up­graded, which will in­clude new toi­lets and so­lar­pow­ered self-com­pact­ing bins.

Land In­for­ma­tion New Zealand is car­ry­ing out work from at the Bendigo free­dom camp­site along­side Lake Dun­stan.

Crown prop­erty deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Jerome Shep­pard said con­trac­tors be­gan work on Novem­ber 27.

The work in­cluded lev­el­ling and re-sur­fac­ing of the road and carpark ar­eas, mark­ing out des­ig­nated park­ing spa­ces and camp­sites, and fenc­ing to keep ve­hi­cles in des­ig­nated ar­eas and im­prove ac­cess to the boat ramp for lake users, he said.

‘‘New toi­lets are also planned, and thanks to the sup­port of the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil, ‘belly bins’ will also be in­stalled in the near fu­ture.’’

The so­lar-pow­ered self­com­pact­ing bins could com­press rub­bish and re­cy­clables, mean­ing less fre­quent emp­ty­ing – with sen­sors alert­ing the col­lec­tion com­pany when full.

Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Mayor Tim Cado­gan said the ef­forts be­ing made by LINZ at Bendigo and other sites would en­hance the coun­cil pol­icy of man­ag­ing free­dom camp­ing into spe­cific ar­eas rather than hav­ing small groups or in­di­vid­ual campers scat­tered across the dis­trict.

Shep­pard said the work would be com­pleted within two to four weeks, but might cause some dis­rup­tion for campers and boaters, in­clud­ing par­tial or pos­si­bly full clo­sure of the area for a short pe­riod.

Boaters could still ac­cess the lake from other ramps, with other free­dom camp­ing sites also avail­able at Low­burn and Jack­sons In­let.

Ve­hi­cle coun­ters at Bendigo con­tinue to show high vis­i­tor num­bers, in­clud­ing free­dom campers, day vis­i­tors and boaters us­ing the area, with around 900 ve­hi­cle move­ments per week, Shep­pard said.

The camp­sites at Low­burn and Jack­sons In­let will also un­dergo some mi­nor im­prove­ments. Low­burn work in­cluded im­proved sig­nage, road ac­cess and paint­ing of the toi­let block.

JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Mary Stal­ter and Sam Hoa­rau, of France, free­dom camp­ing at Bendigo free­dom camp­site be­side Lake Dun­stan in Cromwell.

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