(from left) Robin Berthaud (23), of Lyon, Aurelie Landas
(27), of Lille, Samuel Bonningues (31), of Lille, and
Charlene Joannon (23), of Lyon, enjoy breakfast at Lake
Wanaka before Christmas. Photo by Mark Price.
The Lake Hawea Community Association hopes the
prohibition on freedom camping near Lake Hawea can be further
The Queenstown Lakes District Council has banned freedom
camping around the southern end of the lake near the
However, association chairwoman Barbara Chinn says the ban
also needs to be applied to the side of the lake towards the
Neck, alongside State Highway 6.
Ms Chinn said the land in question belonged to LINZ and a
meeting of interested parties will be held in Wanaka on
The particular areas of concern were popular freedom camping
areas at Deep Bay and Craig Burn.
''The main problem was that people were using the area as a
toilet and then moving away.''
A toilet had now been installed at Craig Burn.
Ms Chinn said as well as the mess left by freedom campers,
there was concern about what might be leaching into the lake.
Lake Hawea residents relied on ultraviolet-treated lake water
for drinking, she said.
''The Lake Hawea Community Association has been very
concerned about the pollution.''
An early morning check by the Otago Daily Times of previous
freedom camping trouble spots around Wanaka and Hawea before
Christmas found campers were following the rules.
A group of young French people in a small camper van were
having breakfast on the Lake Wanaka foreshore but had spent
the night freedom camping legally at Albert Town.
One of the group, Robin Berthaud, of Lyon, said they were
well aware of the freedom camping rules in New Zealand and
sought places at which they were allowed to stay.
They had been advised by one i-Site they could not stay at a
Department of Conservation camping site but had since found
that was incorrect.
And Charlene Joannon, also from Lyon, said they were
particular about camping where there were toilets and ensured
they left no rubbish.
Highway maintenance worker Max Broadmore, of Tarras, said he
had not seen many freedom campers at all this year. He
considered camper vans should all be equipped with shovels so
human waste could be buried.
Mr Broadmore's biggest concern was about the amount of
rubbish he had to pick up on tourist routes between Cromwell
and the summit of the Lindis and Haast Passes.
Tourism operators and communities are being asked to help
ensure freedom campers behave responsibly.
The Tourism Industry Association is calling on members to
support the New Zealand Responsible Camping Forum encouraging
campers to ''do the right thing''. This includes knowing
rules governing freedom camping and being able to direct
visitors to holiday parks or camping areas.
The association said complaints about vehicle-based campers
decreased markedly in the past few seasons, thanks to the
educational campaign put in place by the New Zealand
Responsible Camping Forum.