Freedom camping expansion being studied

Freedom campers at the Warrington Domain in January. Photo: Gregor Richardson
Freedom campers at the Warrington Domain in January. Photo: Gregor Richardson
More areas of Dunedin could be opened up to freedom camping, while new restrictions are considered for Warrington Domain, as the Dunedin City Council mulls further changes to its approach.

Council parks and recreation acting group manager Jendi Paterson said yesterday the council was seeking input from community boards on possible changes to the freedom camping bylaw for next season.

That could eventually result in new locations being added to the list of permitted freedom camping spots in Dunedin, at present limited to Warrington Domain and Ocean View Recreation Reserve for non-self-contained vehicles.

Campers with self-contained vehicles - those with toilet facilities on board - could park on any gravelled or sealed council land used for parking.

The exceptions were in cemeteries, scenic reserves, prohibited areas of Otago Peninsula or outside the designated areas at Warrington and Ocean View.

Ms Paterson said other changes being considered including the future management of Warrington Domain, which had been a contentious issue in the last few years.

Options included introducing new restrictions on freedom campers and their vehicles, she said.

The council had already responded to earlier concerns by introducing upgraded toilet facilities and high-tech rubbish bins, which seemed to have put an end to complaints from residents.

The council's approach appeared to be ''working really well'' now, and had attracted the attention of other councils, which wanted to study Dunedin's success, Ms Paterson said.

''We had a lot of feedback on the Warrington site, so we just want to have a look and make sure we have got it right.''

It was hoped a report would be presented to councillors by April, and any changes introduced in time for next season, she said.


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