There is a limited range of accommodation available in St Arnaud, which is the town on the shores of Lake Rotoiti. The Festival is being held over a public holiday/long weekend, so expect accommodation (and flights) to book out quickly.
Key accommodation options
The main accommodation options that are cheap are the backpackers and the campgrounds:
- Alpine Backpackers: The Alpine Backpackers is part of the same business as the Alpine Lodge and is located in the building next door. Info for both is provided on the same website.
- Kerr Bay Campsite is a short walk from Festival HQ. It is a DOC campground so it is fairly basic, although it does have hot showers and cooking facilities (we recommend you bring your own cooker as the facilities may be in high demand). You should book online in advance, as there are only spaces for 13 tents + 9 campervans. It costs $18/night pp.
- West Bay Campsite: Another DOC campground. It is 5 mins drive (40 mins walk) from Festival HQ. It is similar to the Kerr Bay campsite, but only has cold showers and there are no powered campervan sites. It has space for 38 tent sites. It costs $13/night pp. You should book online in advance.
- Teetotal Campsite: Another DOC campground. It is 2 mins drive (20 mins walk) from Festival HQ. It’s the cheapest and most basic of the nearby campgrounds ($8/night pp). It is set back a bit from the lake and not especially scenic. It rarely fills up (although theoretically fits 12 tents I suspect you’d fit much more) and not possible to book in advance.
Be aware that there can sometimes be lots of sand flies at the campgrounds. Not as many as you might typically find on the West Coast or in Fiordland, but enough to make it unpleasant at times. Consider yourself warned, although you’ll be busy canyoning or drinking beer at Festival HQ, so who cares!
Other accommodation options
Other accommodation options in St Arnaud are listed here.
You are welcome to stay further afield, although it will be less convenient. Driving times to St Arnaud/Festival HQ are as follows:
- Murchison: 1hr
- Motueka: 1hr 20min
- Blenheim: 1hr 20min
- Nelson: 1hr 20min
- Tapawera: 45min
- Lake Rotoroa Campsite: 40min
- Kowhai Point Campground: 20min
Food and drink
Food and drinks will NOT be available for purchase at the Festival HQ, but you are free to bring your own. You are allowed to bring your own alcoholic drinks. There will be some cooking facilities at the hall, but we recommend you eat beforehand or bring takeaways.
There is a store in St Arnaud but it is very small, so you’re better off doing your shopping in a larger town before arriving.