New Zealand

Site revamp proves a valuable tool to guide visitors on freedom camping

15:45 pm on 21 August 2018

Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) has re-launched its 'one-stop-shop' freedom camping website in a bid to encourage responsible camping.

Motorhome campers at Lake Hawea Holiday Park, South Island. Photo: 123rf

The website provides information about freedom camping including where travellers can camp, the rules and regulations in different regions, and tips.

The relaunch follows the government's announcement of $8.5 million in funding for freedom camping management last week, which included earmarked funding for camping sites in tourist hotspots.

TIA chief executive Chris Roberts said was a valuable investment teaching visitors how to be respectful and safe while travelling.

"Campers are an important sector of the New Zealand's tourism industry. They travel widely through the country, tend to stay a long time and spend money on a wide range of goods and services," Mr Roberts said.

Freedom campers were likely to also use commercial operators for part of their stay, he said.

While the information was already out there, Mr Roberts said the website made it easier to access.

"One of the big challenges is that the rules are different as you move from one council area to the next around the country," he said.

"There's no easy answers for someone travelling around the country on what they can do and where they can do it."

That's where the website was expected to step in.

"We have a vested interest in making sure that they are well-equipped to enjoy the classic Kiwi camping experience, while respecting our natural environment and host community," Mr Roberts said.

"The website re-launch is one step towards managing freedom camping in a way that benefits everyone."

It's a Responsible Camping Forum initiative produced alongside the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust.