St Hilda's College and Otago Boys' High School pupils at
the Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park ''Youth Park''
yesterday afternoon, on land earmarked for the proposed
Queenstown Convention Centre. The youth zone, widely
referred to as the ''bullring'', was opened yesterday and
will remain in operation until January 4. Photo by Tracey
The ''bullring'' is back.
Yesterday the gates opened to what is now referred to by
Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park general manager Pete Coppens
as the ''youth park'' at the former Queenstown Camping Ground
By yesterday afternoon hundreds of people, primarily in their
late teens and early 20s, had set up campsites and started
their New Year's Eve build-up celebrations.
Mr Coppens said the Queenstown Lakes District Council had
asked the camping ground to resurrect the youth park in
November as there was nothing else available for the youth
For several years in Queenstown, all campers booked at the
Lakeview Holiday Park and when it was full campers were
redirected to the Queenstown Rec Ground.
However, last year the Rec Ground was made unavailable
because of the final sevens tournament scheduled in early
The youth park, on the preferred site for the proposed
Queenstown Convention centre, had 24-hour security and a
''quiet zone'', close to security officers, for young women
and those who chose not to be in the thick of it.
Bookings had been ''very strong'' despite little advertising,
Mr Coppens said.
Cougar Security manager Ricky Campbell said staff would do
regular ''two and three-man foot patrols'' to keep an eye on
the young revellers.
''You can't stop alcohol coming in ... It's all about control
There was a total ban on vehicles inside the park, which
provided another layer of safety and also kept noise levels
down by eliminating loud car stereos.
Campers were required to carry their tents and provisions to
their site from the main entrance and while there had been a
few grumbles yesterday, most were happy to oblige, Mr
Among the campers was a group of pupils from St Hilda's
College and Otago Boys' High School who arrived yesterday.
Cody McMullan (18) said the group of about 20 had booked for
Sites cost $20 per night per person and every camper in the
youth park was required to pay a $50 bond, refundable on
Campers were required to keep their sites clean, Mr Campbell
''When they're walking around holding their heads in the
morning, we'll give them big, black rubbish bags and tell
them to clean up.
''If they don't clean it up, they're gone.''