Families share camping tradition

Continuing a summer tradition of more than 40 years are (from left) Dante Jephson (5), Daniel...
Continuing a summer tradition of more than 40 years are (from left) Dante Jephson (5), Daniel Jephson, Ardy Hammond (2), Waimarie Hammond, Bindy Hassall, Marg Bennett, Noah Hastie (2), Jane Nisbet, Charlie Nisbett (10), Mia Manuel Rells (11), Clayton Nisbet, Jacob Nisbet (11), Tommy Jephson (11), Fia Jephson, Olivia Jephson (8) and dogs Marley and Kai. The four families have been camping at the same site in a paddock beside the Lindis River for generations. Photos: Stephen Jaquiery
Tucked away in a secluded spot right beside the Lindis River is an exclusive holiday camp site which is only available if you have the right family connections.

For more than 40 years, four generations of the Nisbet, Hassall, Hammond and  Jephson families have been making the trip from Dunedin to the Ardgour Valley near Tarras to camp  beside the river.

Jane Nisbet first came to the spot with her parents more than 40 years ago and says the location is perfect.

"It’s the memories, I think, which is why everyone just keeps coming up again every year.

"It’s just a great family time."

When her parents first camped at the site it was a fairly basic set-up, of a few tents, a fire to boil the water and a few logs to sit on, she said.

Floating down the Lindis River on a blow-up pink flamingo earlier this week are (from left) Jacob...
Floating down the Lindis River on a blow-up pink flamingo earlier this week are (from left) Jacob Nisbet, Mia Manuel Rells and Charlie Nisbet.
The families try to keep that same charm, including digging their own long-drops and shunning some of the more modern camping comforts, such as a refrigerator.

"We like to keep it a bit more rustic; it’s just the charm of the place."

Each year about 20 campers from all four families pitch their tents during the Christmas and  New Year break for a few weeks of swimming, eating, drinking and a generally "fantastic" time.

They do not have to worry about overcrowding as the farmer who owns the land  allows only  them on  the property.

"We’re really lucky the farmer lets us on his property every year. It really is the perfect spot."

tim.miller@odt.co.nz 

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