New barbecues, sites set for Totara Reserve campground

Cooking on fires set to be distant memory

JOHANNA CLELAND
Last updated 12:00 09/01/2014
Campsite
WARWICK SMITH/ Fairfax NZ
BETTER FACILITIES: Camping at Totara REserve campground in 2011 are, Tiffany Watkins, left, and Jeanette Watkins from Feilding. The facility is to get an upgrade, with more powered sites and new electric barbecues.

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Cooking on fires is set to be a distant memory for a Pohangina Valley campsite after receiving funding for an upgrade.

Totara Reserve will add two new barbecues and 12 extra powered sites to the grounds this summer.

Horizons Regional Council received two grants from Central Energy Trust to improve the campsite's amenities.

The council was given $26,600 to buy and set up two new electric barbecues and an additional $26,000 to install the extra powered sites to the camp grounds.

Horizons biosecurity and habitat protection manager Bill Martyn said there was currently only one wood-fuelled barbecue at the northern camping grounds.

"It'll be great to replace this with two new electric units which are safer and more efficient," he said.

He said they would also be looking at building a shelter for the barbecues so they could be enjoyed all year round.

The 12 additional powered sites would extend the existing sites and double what is available.

"We have 10 powered sites at the main camping ground at the moment and these are so popular they're continuously booked out two years in advance," Mr Martyn said.

Reserve caretaker Kelly Williams said the new sites would also help relieve the waiting list.

Over the New Year period, the reserve reached 75 per cent occupancy, with between 400 and 500 campers on site.

Ms Williams also said unpredictable weather last year caused the campsite numbers to be down and played a part in campers leaving one or two days earlier than scheduled.

The new barbecues and powered sites are expected to be installed within the next couple of months.

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- Manawatu Standard

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