Campers warned to watch for rising water levels

Campers and holidaymakers should take care and keep up-to-date with weather conditions when choosing a site near Waitaki and Mackenzie rivers and lakes over the holiday season.

With recent heavy rain and flooding events across Canterbury – up to 1500 mm in the past two weeks in the Southern Alps – campers should be hyper-vigilant of the high river and lake levels.

Our duty flood controller, Phil Lees, advises that campers and holidaymakers need to be particularly careful of the impact of rain in the headwaters in December and January as river and lake levels are already much higher than usual. More rain could result in rapid rises in waterways.

"The problem can be that it is a beautiful day in the Waitaki Valley, yet it is pouring with rain back in the mountains."

"This water has to go somewhere and holidaymakers are reminded that it may take several days to arrive in downstream waterways. We want people to enjoy their summer and to stay safe," he said.

Check before you go

If you are planning to visit lakes and rivers, or camp nearby, check the latest weather forecast before heading out, as well as monitoring our rainfall data and river flow data.