Call to collect free firewood

Queenstown Lakes harbourmaster Marty Black stands on the shore of Lake Wanaka yesterday with piles of gravel and driftwood which have had to be removed from this part of the foreshore in preparation for the Challenge Wanaka event. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Queenstown Lakes harbourmaster Marty Black stands on the shore of Lake Wanaka yesterday with piles of gravel and driftwood which have had to be removed from this part of the foreshore in preparation for the Challenge Wanaka event. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
In the middle of summer, the Queenstown Lakes District Council is urging residents to think about winter and harvest firewood washed up on Lake Wakatipu's shore after the recent heavy rain. Masses of driftwood that had come ashore would make great firewood, QLDC communications manager Meaghan Miller said.

She said rather than organising a clean-up only to have the shore swamped with driftwood again, the council was encouraging people to stock up their firewood supply, then a clean-up would be organised.

''We want to make sure we are applying value for money and only having to do it once,'' Ms Miller said.

She added: ''We do need the water to go down a little bit'' before a clean-up could occur.

''Traditionally, locals have gone and boosted their winter supply, which makes perfect sense.''

A Bathhouse staff member moves driftwood from in front of the restaurant yesterday morning. Photo by Christina McDonald.
A Bathhouse staff member moves driftwood from in front of the restaurant yesterday morning. Photo by Christina McDonald.
She asked people to be conscious of safety issues and to be careful not to damage any still damp grassed areas. In Wanaka,

cleaning up was needed sooner rather than later because of the Challenge Wanaka event this weekend.

QLDC harbourmaster Marty Black was at Lake Wanaka yesterday.

About 200m of the Roys Bay lakefront was tidied by Mr Black's waterway patrol team on Tuesday evening, clearing the area to be used for the swimming leg of the Challenge Wanaka event on Saturday.

Debris was then gathered from the popular stretch of foreshore (pictured above) between the Log Cabin and Bullock Creek yesterday afternoon.

''It's public reserve. It gets a lot of use,'' Mr Black said.