Just south of Lake Pukaki on the side of State Highway 8 is a small freedom camping area named 'Lake Wardell'.
There are several camping spots among the conifers. Most camping areas would fit all size campers. Some places are in the open, while other spots you're able to tuck yourself in amongst the trees.
If you have a camper that's on the large side, there's an area a couple of hundred metres further along the highway where you can turn left immediately before the Pukaki-Ohau canal bridge. It leads to a sealed road that runs alongside the Canal (popular for fishing) and has several entrances to a flat, grassed area suitable for any height or length camper.
Some of the ground is carpeted in pine cones - the smell of conifers fitted perfectly with the Christmas season.
I'm not sure why it's called a 'Lake' ... it looks like a tiny pond.
If the Mackenzie district continues with the hot, dry, windy days it has had of late, I think Lake Wardell may very well disappear.