Drivers strike trouble at Tekapo

People visiting Lake Tekapo have suffered an unusual level of car trouble this summer.

An Automobile Association survey of 85 popular holiday spots showed there were 18 calls to Lake Tekapo between December 21 and January 6 - more than any other South Island location.

They included five callouts for flat tyres, two for lock-outs and a host of other complaints including transmission failures to getting lost.

"We get all sorts of callouts, people have even run their battery flat by listening to the radio," said AA spokesperson Rachel Honey.

"Perhaps the cricket or tennis was getting particularly exciting, but we would advise motorists perhaps it's better not to run their battery flat if they want to get home."

Nationwide, there were 919 callouts at the 85 locations between December 21 and January 6 - Mission Bay (Auckland) and Paraparaumu Beach (Kapiti Coast) topped the list, with 56 and 43 calls respectively. Nearly 60 per cent of callouts over the past two weeks were for flat batteries, starting problems, or keys locked in cars.

"We advise people to keep their keys with them at all times - except when they go swimming. We've heard of people losing them in the river," Ms Honey said.

She said the number of calls nationwide was similar to the same period a year ago, but Lake Tekapo appeared to be slightly higher than normal.

The Timaru Herald