The Department of Conservation and the Dunedin City
Council have started discussing possible camping sites on
Otago Peninsula. Star reporter Dan Hutchinson takes a look at
the issue of budget camping on the peninsula and finds a
distinct lack of enthusiasm for new facilities.
The Department of Conservation and Dunedin City Council are
considering if and where they should put a remote-style
camping site on the Otago Peninsula. Photo by Dan
Renewed efforts are being put in to finding a place for
freedom campers to go on the Otago Peninsula, as the Dunedin
City Council and Department of Conservation join up to look at
A council trial last summer had mixed success, when free
camping was allowed at Warrington Reserve, Macandrew Bay and
The site at Macandrew Bay was very popular with campers and
very unpopular with residents but the council's planning and
regulatory committee decided last week it would continue the
trial for another summer.
''It is just wrong on so many levels, not the least that it
is situated beside a children's playground,'' said Cr Neville
Peat, who opposes continuing with the trial in Macandrew Bay.
To try to ease the pressure, the council is looking for other
places on the peninsula to trial as well this summer and
Scott Reserve in Harwood has been suggested as one
Peninsula Community Board deputy chairman Paul Pope said the
Scott Hall Committee had written saying it could accommodate
self-contained vehicles at the adjacent park if it was well
managed by the council.
Non-self-contained campers would present ''a greater
challenge'' because they would require new toilets and
Mr Pope said the ''crux of the problem'' was the peninsula's
only trial site had been put in a residential area, creating
conflict with residents, for whom the facilities were
The council and Doc have begun working on options for another
solution to the problem and would be identifying potential
camping sites and producing a feasibility report next April.
Doc conservation partnerships manager for coastal Otago Mike
Morrison said they would need to assess the demand before
looking at what level of facility might be required and
''The Doc-style camp site ... they are generally what we call
remote camps so they are away from urban centres and really
straightforward, simple facilities and it is demand driven.''
Acting reserves and recreation planning team leader Paula
Dickel said the council was working with Doc because it had
experience with providing camping facilities.
No specific sites had yet been identified in that study. The
Department of Conservation has land at Boulder Beach, Sandfly
Bay and Sandymount and the council owns parks and reserves.
Mayor Dave Cull, at last week's planning and regulatory
committee meeting, asked whether the council had ''the will
or the obligation'' to build a camp site and whether the
council could even afford to be building new toilet
facilities for freedom campers.
Other sites that meet most criteria for the freedom camping
trial this summer are: Ocean Grove Domain Hall, Portobello
Community Hall, Scott Hall, Ocean Grove Recreation Reserve