Burrendong attracting big crowds

VISITOR numbers to Lake Burrendong State Park are expected to balloon to almost half the size of nearby Wellington by New Year's Eve.

The tourist numbers are already up by 30 per cent, according to park manager Jason Kirk.

"There are about 1500 here now who came before Christmas, but we have very big bookings for the new year period and expect to have around 2300 people but that could get even bigger," he said.

Traffic on both the Orange and Dubbo entrances to Burrendong Way has been heavy and by early Friday afternoon holidaygoers were basking in the sunshine, which was expected to continue across the long weekend.

"Our site holders are well up as well and there are plenty of spots for unpowered camping here," Mr Kirk said.

Emma Marchant and her daughter Matilda from Dubbo enjoyed the water slide which hovers over the dam precinct.

"We love it here and the kids are having a great time," Mrs Marchant said as she came out of the slide.

On the dam itself, despite windy weather, a family from Orange took their boat to the water with a "biscuit" dragging behind them. Laura Wolfsen, a regular at the Burrendong site, is loving the weather.

"The water is perfect and the wind is not really that bad. I have been six or seven times and really enjoy it," she said.

The Wellington Caves are also reporting strong numbers and the weather forecast is sunny with temperatures in the high 30s forecast for the weekend and during new year.

Police say they will patrol both tourist sites to ensure holidaygoers are safe and secure while Lake Burrendong will be locked down on New Year's Eve with no tourists allowed into the venue.

"This was a success last year and it really did prevent any trouble here," Mr Kirk said.

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