A new site for campervans in Luggate is a “fantastic step in the right direction”, Luggate Community Association chairman Graeme Perkins says.
The site on Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) reserve land near Red Bridge would provide free camping for certified self-contained campers for a maximum of two nights.
Mr Perkins said the site would take the pressure off the Luggate camping ground which was “always full”.
“The freedom campers that we got in town were just parked down the streets or by the river.”
The new site, “for the first time ever”, would provide a place for campers to be able to park, he said.
“We are very happy about it.
“We are not anti-tourist at all. It is a great way to travel, being able to freedom camp.”
The overnight hub would provide space for about 25 campers and would include four toilets and waste recycling and disposal.
“It is going to be helpful and give them somewhere to stay with a toilet,” Mr Perkins said.
Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said work was done in the last six months to plan for responsible campers across the region.
“This summer we’ll build on that with further facilities and education for visitors to make sure they’re staying in appropriate places and treating our environment with respect, and stronger enforcement for those that are not,” Mr Boult said.
As well as providing the campsite in Luggate, QLDC would be employing “camping ambassadors” who would educate campers on where and how to camp responsibly.
A planned service hub in Ballantyne Rd would provide toilets, rubbish disposal and Wi-Fi.
“It’s really important the community understands these initiatives are trials.
“We will make sure we are agile enough to alter our approach if required.
“If something isn’t working, we’ll change it,” Mr Boult said.