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Nowhere to stay

December 7 2020

Recently we had been in contact with some friends from the North Island who indicated they were going to undertake a trip with their caravan to the South Island in March 2021 which was going to include Queenstown.

They asked if I could recommend a suitable Holiday Park near the Queenstown CBD. Having undertaken a site visit I decided on the Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park.

I decided it would be perfect, as it had nice and clean modern facilities, beautiful gardens, and was easy walking distance to the CBD.

I went to the Parks reception area to make a booking. I was welcomed by a nice lady, who I understood to be one of the managers. She was most apologetic but advised me the Park was unable to take any site booking beyond February 1st, 2021.
The reason provided was that the council, was in discussions with the current Park operators in relation to the lease and that certain parts of the Park may become unavailable.

I was advised that the council was planning to put a road through the Park to the proposed Lakeview development and this involved removing the Parks facilities buildings, which looked to me that they were only recently built.
I asked was it in part because of the slowdown in Tourism due to Covid, but I was advised to the contrary, that the visitor numbers to Park have been very steady. as have been the forward bookings and inquiries.

I came away somewhat dismayed, as I understand the Mayor and Civic leaders were crying out for visitors to the Town. That a large portion of these visitors are currently campers, who I imagine would be spending their money across a whole range of local services.

Yet here we have a council that has closed the Frankton Holiday Park at least, until late 2021 and are in the process of closing all or part of the Queenstown one.

This appears to be despite previous assurances from the Mayor that the Holiday Park would remain unaffected by the adjacent Lakeview development. I came away shaking my head in dismay and surprise as to who in their right mind would close and or disestablish the majority of the area’s Holiday Parks?

Has once again short term council greed got in the way of common sense? Why not maintain a CBD green space, that appears to be a very well utilized civic amenity,while providing for postive downstream outcomes?

J Adams

QLDC Response

Visitors to the Queenstown Lakes district looking for a camping experience are important and QLDC’s Responsible Camping Strategy reinforces this.

While it is a challenge that the Frankton Campground is closed this summer, this is to allow for the re-development and provision of new facilities here.

Discussions are also underway with respect to the potential continuation of some part of the Lakeview Campground too.

We’d recommend that anyone visiting the district and looking for a campsite takes a look at one of the many other options nearby.  A list of them is available here:, and the Campermate App has plenty of details about options too.

It’s important to note too that a proposed road through part of the Lakeview site represents the start of an initial $15m investment over 12 months into Three Waters and roading infrastructure, and once complete, further development at the Lakeview site will provide a range of residential buildings, hotels, co-working and co-living spaces, hospitality and retail options, along with reserve spaces and a contribution to affordable housing.

  • Disingenuous response from The QLDC.

    What a disingenuous response from The QLDC.

    The Responsible Camping Strategy is aimed at Freedom Campers who generally would run a mile rather than pay for Holiday Park services. However, it somewhat clarifies Councils priority in that Freedom Campers enjoys a higher priority than that of legitimate New Zealand Families who are seeking to enjoy a holiday Park experience.

    If there are discussions underway in regard to the Lakeview site, is it not a bit late, as we could not obtain a booking in February, What about the many hundreds of other people who are in the same predicament, who will no doubt look elsewhere in New Zealand rather than wait for the QLDC to make what appears to the usual QLDC practice of making decisions on the Fly, notwithstanding that the Mayor, Councilors, and Executive will be no doubt enjoying their Summer Holidays while everyone else has to sit and wait.

    Thank you for QLDC for providing a list of potential Holiday Parks. We are well aware of what's available and it's down to one Holiday Park in Queenstown and one in Arurthers point and if previous years are anything to go by these will be filling up and then some, due to the other Parks being closed by the QLDC .

    The road through the Lakeview appears to have little context with the Three Water Project or the Lakeview project in total as the developers have indicated they will not likely commence work on the project for another two years.

    Notwithstanding the issue of the Council encroaching on to the Holiday Park, it appears the whole situation around the Lakeview is becoming murkier and murkier. I for one and strongly encourage others to seek further clarity on whats not only what's happening with the Ratepayers-owned Holiday Park, but also the wider Lakeview site and who are the beneficiaries who are ultimately going to be from the redevelopment. It certainly does not appear to be the ratepayers or visitors to the area.

    Posted 08/12/2020 12:09pm (2 years ago)

  • YeahNah

    Thanks for calling the council out on this one. As a ratepayer I wholeheartedly agree with the content of your posts.

    I am sure that the QLDC (Can do council/Mahi Kaha) comms department are actively monitoring this discussion and are able to provided some clarity around the following 3 questions.

    Why has the Frankton campground redevelopment been suspended when Central Government, QLDC and ratepayers had all clearly indicated that the Queenstown lakes region, in light of the complete loss of international tourism, needed to focus on domestic tourism?

    Given that domestic tourists are often more price sensitive than international tourists, why has the reletting of the Lakeview Campground been so poorly managed that it is not possible for domestic visitors to make bookings beyond 1 Feb 2021?

    Given that QLDC income has been slashed due to C19, how does the decision to have two ratepayer owned assets sit idle align with the QLDC's mandate to maximise income and minimise expense to the ratepayers?

    Nga mihi

    Posted 08/12/2020 1:55pm (2 years ago)

  • Holiday park guests offer silver lining to local businesses

    Holiday park owners are encouraging their guests to support local businesses by
    trying something new this summer.
    "A lot of businesses will be relying on New Zealanders’ support over the next few
    months," says Holiday Parks New Zealand CE Fergus Brown.
    "As we approach our first year without international visitors - and with no certainty
    around when the borders will open - Kiwis’ support this summer will be made or
    break for many, especially small businesses."
    Fergus hopes holiday park visitors will take advantage of the quieter-than-usual
    summer season by ticking off some of the country’s must-do activities.
    "Whether it’s a cruise in the Bay of Islands, a visit to a local museum or a trip to
    Hobbiton, it’s a win-win for holiday park guests who will be getting a new experience
    knowing their holiday spending is helping to save jobs."
    Booking ahead will also be crucial to these businesses, which have been struggling
    with staffing due to the lack of international visitors, says Fergus. Outside of summer,
    New Zealanders tend to travel only at weekends and school holidays, making it difficult
    to retain staff throughout quieter periods.
    "By pre-booking paid activities and attractions, visitors will be adding considerable
    value to local communities and keeping locals employed."
    In January, holiday parks account for more guest nights than any other commercial
    accommodation provider. A record numbers of visitors are expected at holiday parks
    throughout the country this summer, with more than 1.7 million guest nights booked
    in January 2020. Of these, approximately 1.3 million guest nights are New Zealand
    Holiday parks in the most popular summer holiday destinations are already booked out
    over Christmas and New Year, but Fergus says people should consider holidaying later
    in the season if they can.
    "From February, businesses will really be noticing the loss of international visitors, so
    a boost from the Kiwi market would support their businesses even more."
    Many tourism operators have been able to expand their offerings to this market and
    have deals and experiences ready for New Zealand families traveling over the whole
    summer, he says.

    Posted 11/12/2020 9:59am (2 years ago)

  • Speedy

    Somewhat amazing that Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park got a multi millon dollar makeover in early 2000 and now the council going to demolish some of these buildings.Even more surprising is that the Lakeview developers hasn't even settled on a start date.
    We shouldn't be surprised as this is the same council thats going to spend hundreds of thousands of ratepayer dollars upgrading the Memorial Hall, when it too is slated for demolition.

    Posted 13/12/2020 12:14pm (2 years ago)

  • COUP De Ville

    I note with interest ODT19/12 were the QLDC Council Manager describes as Ä Coup"" the fact that 1 year after the target date and another year before the proposed reopening, that the council has finial agreed (behind closed doors) on new leases for the Frankton Camping Ground.
    So within the QLDC perverted logic, losing revenue for two years and missing the reopening of the Camping ground reopening target by 12 months,, while in the meantime the council has closed another Park is a Coup.

    I would suggest that SHOWBIZ Queenstown could stage a Black Comedy based on the incompetent' wheeling and dealing of this Council, it would be an International hit.

    Posted 19/12/2020 9:47am (2 years ago)