Freedom camping sites to get upgrade
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.
Mary Stalter and Sam Hoarau, of France, freedom camping at Bendigo freedom campsite beside Lake Dunstan in Cromwell.