Better future seen for camp ground, delta

New managers have taken responsibility for the Department of Conservation's (Doc) Twelve Mile Delta campground on the edge of Lake Wakatipu.

The 6ha site, located a short drive from Queenstown, was originally a small-scale self-registration spot. However, recognising the potential of the location, the department sought interest from private operators to develop and manage the site.

The successful applicants were Glenn Tattersall and Tracy Addison, who now have a long-term lease on the campground.

About 29,000 people stayed at Twelve Mile Delta last year.

Alongside the new campground contract, Doc has also made some improvements in the wider reserve.

Conservation services manager John Roberts said Doc had worked to enhance the visitor experience with plantings, landscaping, new link tracks and better access to the foreshore.

''We have been aware for a while that the delta has been underutilised and wanted to improve this,'' he said.

''In the past the area had issues with noise, uncontrolled vehicle access and damage to the landscape. Having on-site campground managers will alleviate this.''

Mr Tattersall and Ms Addison said they were excited about the opportunity and had already invested in new toilet blocks and better landscaping.

''Having supervised the 12 Mile Delta and Moke Lake camping grounds on behalf of Doc for the last three years, with the last two under the fantastic stewardship of our on-site managers, we are looking forward to building on all the hard work put in by Doc and ourselves to date by fully taking over the management,'' Mr Tattersall said.

Any visitor can still access all parts of the Twelve Mile Delta on foot but, as part of the works to improve on-site safety, non-camping through traffic has been stopped in the campground lease area.

The speed of vehicles, and the dust they create, has previously caused concern in the camp. Public car parking for day visitors is now concentrated on the foreshore of Lake Wakatipu. Mr Tattersall said he wanted to remind visitors to the campground their dogs were to be kept on a lead at all times.

A Twelve Mile Delta campground open day will be held from 3pm-7pm on March 13, with a sausage sizzle and staff available to answer questions.