Wanaka packs them in

Wanaka is cranking as hordes of visitors pack the town to its limits.Camping grounds are filling up, the supermarket is packed and the lakefront is overflowing with people.

Nearly 1500 campers have flocked to Glendhu Bay Motor Camp, and the camping ground is almost at full capacity.

Glendhu Bay Motor Camp has close to 1500 people staying, and only a few free spots remain in the...
Glendhu Bay Motor Camp has close to 1500 people staying, and only a few free spots remain in the 1.3km-long campground. PHOTO: CRAIG BAXTER

Likewise, the Wanaka Lakeview and Albert Town camping grounds have been full every night since Christmas Day, and will remain that way for plenty more days to come.

Albert Town camping ground manager Nick Todd said so many young people had come to camp there he had had to restrict it to those 20 years old and over.

The camping ground does not take bookings, but he said it had been consistently emptying and refilling with campers every day.

"By 10 or 11 each night we are usually full,'' he said.

The Lake Outlet Holiday Park in Wanaka has stopped taking reservations until at least New Year's Day, although a few sites will be available daily on a first-come-first-served basis.

Meanwhile, the Lake Hawea Holiday Park camping ground has been becoming increasingly busy as the new year approaches.

Traffic in Wanaka has been chaotic, and cars have been backed up from the Anderson Rd roundabout all the way to Puzzling World.

Many cars were seen trying to find a park close to town without any luck, while supermarket shoppers had to battle for the coveted spaces outside New World.

A large influx of teenagers and young adults was noticeable, here for the Rhythm and Alps festival, which started in Cardrona yesterday.

While it is packed on the land, it is no better out on the water.

Hundreds of boats took to Lake Wanaka on a warm, calm day yesterday, making the most of what continues to be a hot, dry summer.

Despite the numbers, mishaps have been few.

Only in the mid-afternoon was an ambulance seen rushing to Waterfall Creek on Lake Wanaka to attend to a 13-year-old boy who fell off his water-skis.

He suffered no injuries.

Extra police have been sent to Wanaka to deal with the large number of people expected in the area over the next few days, including at the music festivals in Cardrona and Hawea.

Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell, of Wanaka, said the extra resources would ``help us provide 24/7 coverage'' at such a busy time of year.


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