The loo that takes your breath away
Posted at 6:59am Thursday 01 Nov, 2018 | By Emma Conyngham email@example.com
The views from the top of Isthmus Peak are some of the most stunning around. It's an expansive breathtaking vista over Lake Wanaka and Lake Hawea that leaves all visitors awed. But breathtaking in a different way, is the stinking mess left by defecating tourists that has locals gagging.
Hence, a non-flushing portaloo was installed at the Lower Isthmus Peak track on October 1. From the moment it opened, both the track carparks filled up with around 70 cars and upto a dozen cars remaining overnight.
NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) owns the roadside so met with Jude Battson, chair of the Lake Hawea Guardians to decide on portaloo location.
“Non track users are using it as a toilet stop off and some are depositing their rubbish including plastic bags of rubbish. It has to be emptied fortnightly and the contractor said it was the worst toilet he had ever emptied,” she said. It's not the type of ‘breathtaking' Central Otago takes pride in. This one leaves you retching.
The toilet cost is approximately $380 per month. The project is jointly funded by the Hawea Community Association and the owners of Isthmus Peak Station. It is planned to remain installed for the summer season although it will be removed when the track closes from November 20 to December 20 for fawning and reinstalled when the track opens. Battson believes a more hygienic permanent toilet facility is required and is working with the owners to develop this idea. Isthmus Peak Track is owned by the Department of Conservation, Isthmus Peak Station, Land Information New Zealand and NZTA, but it is hoped Queenstown Lakes District Council could also be involved as part of their Responsible Camping Strategy.