Contractors have been upgrading Northern Coromandel campgrounds this winter, installing modern sewage treatment and drinking water supplies, which should result in lower water consumption, less queuing for toilets and a reduction in the overall environmental footprint on the land.
Stony Bay Campground and Waikawau Bay Campsite are on track for reopening in early December. Visitor numbers to Waikawau Bay Campsite will be reduced over summer while the new grey water system is monitored.
DOC Whitianga Operations Manager Nick Kelly says all going well, camper numbers are likely to rise again in the 2020/2021 season.
“We have temporarily reduced the visitor numbers to the Waikawau campground while we monitor and assess the new grey water system. As a responsible land user DOC takes its obligations under the RMA very seriously and this is something we want to get absolutely right.”
When it opens in December, Waikawau Bay Campground will have new wheelchair-friendly toilets and showers, along with an entirely new water reticulation system with an additional six-day emergency capacity.
These new facilities will help conserve water across the campground, with up to 60% water savings expected. Once monitoring is complete and final sign off received, visitors will be able to drink the water on site rather than having to bring in water so fewer empty bottles should end up in local waste stations.
Fletcher Bay Campground will close in December for upgrade work before reopening in late April 2020, however Port Jackson and Fantail Bay sites will remain open.
“We recognise this reduction in available sites over the peak period will mean a short-term inconvenience for some campers and look forward to being able to showcase the long-term benefits. Improving the experience for our visitors while maintaining a conservation focused campground has been a driving motivator for the upgrade, underpinning this, and one of our key philosophies has been reducing our impact on the natural spaces in which we recreate,” Nick Kelly says.
All the campsites are pre-booked via the DOC online bookings system which means people can be sure they will get a space well before they leave home.