Online booking system should make happy campers

By Cherie Taylor

Campers keen to visit one of the region's favourite campsites will be able to use a new booking system set to start in March.

From March 1 next year, Hot Water Beach Campsite at Lake Tarawera will become a booked site, allowing campers to plan ahead and guarantee themselves a site, Department of Conservation community relations officer Rob Griffiths said.

It was important to create a reliable overnight stay for people at this popular location, he said.

"You can check the availability of sites before going on your trip, and book the right number for your group."

The booking system will be live on the Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust website from mid-February, but huts won't be able to be booked until March.

"It's the status quo in the meantime," Mr Griffiths said.

"We expect the pressure on the space, facilities and environment at the campsite will be reduced, providing a better atmosphere and experience for campers. Hot Water Beach is a unique campsite on the shores of Lake Tarawera and we want to retain its special character."

More recently the Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust has taken on the management of Hot Water Beach campsite on behalf of the department.

The day-to-day operation of the campsite will be managed by Lake Tarawera Water Taxi, a subsidiary of Whakarewarewa Village Charitable Trust.

"Hot water beach allows campers to camp in scenic surroundings and relax in the natural hot springs in the bay. Enjoy water sports, fish and explore the wider Lake Tarawera area," Mr Griffiths said.

Bookings can be made via the web, phone or in person. All the details on how to do this will be up on shortly.

The cost of staying at the campsite has not changed - it is still $10 per adult per night, $5 for those aged between 5 and 17 years and there is no charge for those under 5.

Visit the department's website for more information about recreation attractions and camping in the area.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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