Season length and fee increase for Waitaki Lakes Camping Grounds

Published on 01 July 2021

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The 2021 Waitaki Lakes Camping ground season kicks off on Saturday 18th September 2021. This season campers are invited to enjoy an extended season that will close on the Monday of Queens Birthday weekend 2022 for the six Waitaki District Council-managed sites; Falstone Creek, Sailors Cutting, Wildlife, Loch Laird, Boat Harbour and Parsons Rock. The longer season does come with an increased cost, with season ticket prices going up to $550.

The increase in season fees also seeks to reduce the burden on Waitaki ratepayers, with the camping activity at these sites having been subsidised by rates input for many years. At $550 to keep a caravan, motorhome or tent on a 60sq m site for 37 weeks of the year, this still remains one of the cheapest camping experiences to be had. This equates to approx. $14 per week or $2 per night! This is equivalent to an unpowered site in a Commercial or DOC Campground for 12 nights or 4 nights in an Airbnb or motel.

Casual tickets prices will remain the same at $25 per night for two people.

Boat ramp season tickets will be $60.

Chair of the Assets Committee, which oversees the camping activity, Cr Bill Kingan said, “The fees are value for money as Waitaki offers a unique ‘kiwi camping’ experience catering for many who are not Waitaki residents. The scenery and access to the lakes and their recreational amenity is simply priceless, and something we want to share.”

A further change being implemented this year is the flood zone at Boat Harbour camping ground becoming a casual camping self-contained vehicles-only zone. Due to flood events over the last five years necessitating evacuations from this zone, the move seeks to ensure only occupied, fully contained vehicular units are present at any time. Erik van der Spek, Recreation Manager said, “Should we see another extreme weather event, we want to be really confident we can get people and their gear out fast and safely”.