How I see it there are 2 sides to freedom camping in NZ
This is becoming a big topic around the social table of NZ and it is not too difficult to see the good the bad and the ugly with the pros and the negatives to the practice of freedom camping.
For the happy campers
Of course you may love this option to just park up, some in cars but most in vans. Why wouldn’t you. No booking, no fees, no schedule to keep, the best views, company of similar minded company and total freedom. There are positives I can see, but what about the negatives.
- Lack of bathroom facilities.
- No place to cook.
- Unhappy locals visiting with their strong negative views.
- Over crowding by other freedom campers
- I am sure if you have practiced this method you will have other negatives that you have experienced, but what are the benefits of staying in an official campsite or doc campground.
What is the alternative?
There are always going to be benefits to staying in official camp grounds or doc camps.
- Protection and safety
- Facilities set up for camping
- Good company of like minded people
- Your own area often with trees and shade and sea views.
- Supporting a local business
All good but what about the negatives
- Costs money yet usually not that much.
- Have to book, especially over summer holidays,
- Need to keep to a schedule.
- Campers and kids everywhere.
My view reflects the local view.
I, like many, have concerns about freedom campers. In recent years I have seen many vans and cars parked at the beach late at night while traveling home.
I fear that the numbers will only increase. I can see from the freedom campers angle that this may be fun. But also see that with more and more freedom campers comes rubbish, bottles, food and liquid dropped, lack of day parks, reports of anywhere being used as a toilet and overall beach and park pollution. Then all that is left are angry locals which is why freedom camping is so talked about and often rises to the surface in conversation.
With Summer coming
Each year this becomes and issue and with summer coming I can not help but wonder what is going to come with it. I wish that areas would be designated for freedom campers that have facilities for rubbish and bathrooms with showers so at least there is some control and the situation can be contained. But until then this topic of discussion will not go away.