Abandoned picnic leaves police baffled

01:43, Jan 31 2009

Rotorua police are scratching their heads in bewilderment over an abandoned picnic.

The fully laid-out picnic, complete with blanket and food, was found abandoned on the beach of a Rotorua lake last week.

Detective Sergeant John Wilson told The Daily Post said police received a call on Friday morning from someone who had found the picnic near the carpark between Tikitapu (Blue Lake) and Rotokakahi (Green Lake).

Police found a red blanket laid out, a wicker basket, two small bottles of Coke, a packet of chips, a relish container, chicken caesar salad, three apples, two bags of sweets, a barbecue lighter and a copy of the Daily Post.

Mr Wilson likened the mystery to the world's most famous "ghost" ship the Mary Celeste.

The Mary Celeste was a brigantine discovered in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and under sail in 1872. The fate of the crew has been a subject much speculation since. A police search and rescue team searched the tracks around the lake and made inquiries at the camp ground on the opposite side of the lake but could not find the owners of the picnic.

Police would consider carrying out another search of the wider area if any new information came to light.