Picnic spot expected to be popular
People holidaying in the Mackenzie district this summer will have a new picnic spot, thanks to the work of the Conservation Department.
Twizel-based ranger Ian Guthrie said the preparation for the Falstone picnic area took place over the winter, and it was ready for public use.
"The lakes are very busy over the summer, and there are a number of campsites, but we wanted something for people on a day-trip," he said.
"There won't be much room for parking, but there will be enough room to stop for a few hours and spend time near Lake Benmore."
The new site is located past Totara Peaks Station on Falston Rd, just before Falstone Creek.
"People that drive around western edge of Lake Benmore find it tricky to get to the lake edge with so many campers in the region.
"This will give people a place to stop and enjoy the lake in a camping free environment. It clearly states on the picnic area sign no camping," Mr Guthrie said.
The Mackenzie and Waitaki districts receive thousands of campers in the summer holiday period.
There are about a dozen commercial or public camping grounds in the Mackenzie district, while the Waitaki District Council oversees 19 campsites that are either vested to it, or leased to people who manage them.
There is also a ban on freedom camping by Lake Opuha and near the Lake Ruataniwha reserve between December 24 and the second Monday in January.
After that time only self-contained vehicles will be allowed.
The Timaru Herald