Lake Dunstan campsites ready for summer
8 November 2019
Lake Dunstan campsites will have additional toilets and increased rubbish removal to cope with the influx of campers this summer.
Visitor numbers to Land Information New Zealand’s (LINZ) four popular lakefront sites have increased every year since 2015. Last season, approximately 34,000 vehicles passed through the sites between October and April.
LINZ Deputy Chief Executive Crown Property Jerome Sheppard says it’s great more visitors are using the sites, but with them comes extra pressure on facilities, especially toilets and rubbish bins.
“We want to help make it easy for people to do the right thing. If there’s room in the rubbish bins, it’s more likely campers are going to use the bins rather than leave their rubbish on the ground beside them.
“Given the numbers of people passing through our sites, we also felt additional toilet facilities were needed.”
Mr Sheppard says LINZ is taking the same approach to education and monitoring as last year.
“We were really pleased with the behaviour of campers at our sites last season. We found having people on the ground raising awareness about responsible camping, and undertaking monitoring, worked really well in ensuring an enjoyable experience for campers and the community.”
Last season, only five complaints were logged compared with 250 the previous season.
Mr Sheppard says ensuring campers are not exceeding the maximum night stay will be another focus this season.
LINZ is also working with the Central Otago District Council (CODC) to develop a responsible camping strategy for the region, which is expected to be in place next summer.
Earlier this year, LINZ considered introducing a fee for campers to use their sites to offset the significant cost associated with servicing and maintaining the facilities, as well as providing for education and monitoring.
This is not being introduced this year, but Mr Sheppard says LINZ is still exploring the idea as the current funding isn’t sustainable long-term.
LINZ currently covers the cost of managing and maintaining the sites through funding support from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) secured by the CODC. This season the CODC received $377,000 to install vehicle counters, temporary toilet facilities to cope with increased demand, servicing and maintenance of facilities, and an education and monitoring programme.