28 Feb 2014

Irrigation pond watersport-friendly too

2:46 pm on 28 February 2014

A North Otago irrigation pond will serve a dual purpose as of Saturday, when it opens to the public for recreational use.

The Lower Waitaki Irrigation Company will open the 5ha pond, near Oamaru, which residents can use for an annual cost of $50.

The Lower Waitaki Water Sports Trust has bought 10 yachts, 15 kayaks, two paddleboards and an inflatable rescue boat for the facility, which also boasts a floating jetty.

The trust's chair, Richard Willans, says it's an exciting project for the area, as Oamaru's coast and the Waitaki River are not watersport-friendly and people have previously had to drive for about 40 minutes to get to the nearest lakes, Lake Avimore and Lake Benmore.

Mr Willans says the triangle-shaped lake, with sides about 400 metres long, is a great size for watersport beginners, and all the gear is provided, so "you wont have to bring anything at all - just turn up".