My precious environment: My home away from home

Last updated 05:00 12/01/2013

WELCOMING: Christian Heinze-Rowney enjoys the simple life at Lake MIddleton.

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There's this place I love, and most likely will never forget. It's near Twizel, and opposite Lake Ohau. It's a small place called Lake Middleton. Right next to the small alpine village which contains a mix of modern houses and little log cabins. It is truly a wonderful place throughout the year.

There was a time when my family and I would pack up our bags, tents and drive to this place which is essentially in the middle of nowhere. We found it quite by accident, but a good accident.

The first year we went there it was okay, we made some good friends and had a good few weeks. We got to know the regulars at the camp and I learnt to drive some of the boats which can be seen speeding round in circles towing everything from barefoot water skiers to jet-ski type inflatables. Oh the fun we had.

But as of late I've found it's become a bit run down, either that or it's just lost the pizazz it originally had. Then again, I have aged some seven years since we first found this wonderful camp site.

My fear is that it will eventually become one of those rather mainstream campsites. One which costs a fortune for some, but has powered sites, a kitchen and a shower. I wouldn't call that camping. It's not dirty enough. It feels too sterile.

There's nothing like waking up in the morning and going for a swim in the freezing blue lake that is Lake Ohau before retreating to your little tent across the road where you can sit and watch the clouds roll past, while occasionally watching the boats race past in the hope of glimpsing a spectacular wipeout in which someone ends up flying a short distance before crashing through the glassy water in a rather graceful fashion.

It's my home away from home, it's always been welcoming, and I hope it remains the way it is for future campers with a low budget, as the opportunities in this area are endless.

Lake Middleton is truly a spectacular place, and although I may not be able to return as much as I would like, I hope I can return with my kids one day, and show them how much fun I had with the basics; a few tents, a gas cooker and some simple to prepare meals. Screw the powered camping sites or Holiday Inns. That's too much like home.

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