Bendigo upgrade completed in time for Christmas

22 December 2017

Key improvements to one of Central Otago’s most popular freedom camping sites have been wrapped in time for Christmas.

Work begun in late November by Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) contractors to upgrade the Bendigo freedom camping site has now largely been completed, resulting in a raft of improvements to the popular spot, says Deputy Chief Executive Crown Property, Jerome Sheppard.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their patience while the work has been underway in recent weeks to get the Bendigo site completed in time for Christmas, which will make it more enjoyable for visitors and those wishing to access the lake for boating and other recreational activities,” Mr Sheppard says.

The improvements have included levelling and re-surfacing of the road and carpark areas, marking out designated parking spaces and campsites, and installation of fencing and other features to keep vehicles in designated areas and improve access to the boat ramp for lake users. Some finishing touches, including grading of pathways and installation wire cable on fences will be completed in the New Year. New picnic tables have also been ordered and are expected to arrive in early February, along with new signage.

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 self-compacting bins can compress rubbish and recyclables, meaning less frequent emptying – with sensors alerting the collection company when full.

“Thanks to the work that’s been done, we now have a new, fit for purpose facility that is ready to go for the busy summer holiday season and which people can enjoy into the future,” Mr Sheppard says.

About $200,000 has been spent on the upgrade work.

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.

Freedom campsites at Lowburn and Jacksons Inlet will also undergo some minor improvements over the summer.

For Lowburn, this will include improved signage and access from the State Highway, as well as painting of the toilet block. Additional fencing is also being considered. At Jacksons Inlet, improved signage, including better information for campers, will also be put in place, as part of a move to have consistent signage at all LINZ sites around the lake.

“These improvements are part of LINZ’s commitment to ensuring there are fit for purpose facilities available for people wanting to enjoy Central Otago’s landscape and lakes,” Mr Sheppard says.

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