Freedom campers can now be pointed in the direction of legitimate Queenstown camping spots via an interactive map.
More than 500 freedom camping locations and 1000 camping areas are pinpointed on the free ‘I Respect NZ’ camping map put out by travel website rankers.co.nz.
Rules about the site, camping facilities, costs and reviews are also listed for each place.
Rankers have joined forces with Responsible Camping Forum, DOC, local government, major campervan companies and the NZ Motor Caravan Association to create what they call a ‘freedom-camping solution’ ahead of the influx of Rugby World Cup tourists.
Rankers owners Cymen Crick and Nick Morrison think the biggest freedom camping issue is the lack of readily available information on suitable sites.
“The tourism industry needs to provide travellers with tools so they can camp responsibly. If this issue is not addressed, we stand to lose more than we realise. We lose a right of freedom for New Zealanders, and gain a landscape covered in ‘No Camping’ signs,” Morrison says.
Those with responsibility over camping areas – DOC, Holiday Park managers and local councils – will be able to edit the site to keep it current.
Morrison says the website empowers travellers with choice and the ability to do the right thing.