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The Pines Camp freedom camping site, along the road to the right of the Lake Tekapo Lookout (pictured) has been upgraded. PHOTO: ALEXIA JOHNSTON

The Pines Camp area at Lake Pukaki has been upgraded.

The popular freedom camping site, which is also part of the Alps to Ocean cycleway, now has better-defined roads, specific parking areas and four new toilets.

Mackenzie District Council community facilities group manager Garth Nixton said the upgrade aimed to limit damage to the local landscape.

Roads through the camp site had been fenced and parking areas defined for vehicles.

“Up until now, visitors have been able to drive throughout the camp without keeping to existing tracks. This has contributed to foreshore erosion and destroyed grass cover.”

The four new long-drop toilets, added to the existing two, would provide for the increasing number of non-self-contained vehicles and freedom campers using the site.

Land Information New Zealand (Linz) funds the cleaning and daily service of these facilities.

The cost of the upgrade, of about $400,000, has been jointly funded by Linz (which administers the land), the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Mackenzie District Council.