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Half a century ago, Invercargill resident Frank Goodall and his cobber were camping at Lowburn over Christmas when they decided to head to Lake Hawea for a spot of fishing.
Dick Cotter had just started what was then the Lake Hawea Holiday Park and Mr Goodall thought it would be a good place to stay.
This summer he was accompanied by children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and said there were 18 to 20 people to feed each night, with all the vegetables brought up from his garden in Invercargill.
"I think it’s probably one of the best camps in New Zealand," he said.
Mr Goodall’s family were scattered throughout the camp, some staying in tents, others in a range of cabins, and one daughter was treating herself to four nights of "glamping" in one of The Camp’s luxury Bell tents.
The Camp owner Sarah Burdon, who bought the park with her husband, Richard, 11 years ago, said the park had been booked out over Christmas and was always busy with New Zealand travellers.
There were no permanent campsites at the park, although guests could store caravans and campers, and were given the right to rebook the same site every year.
He celebrated 50 years of visiting the lake with his family last month.
This summer included "the best days I’ve ever had here", he said.