26 Dec 2008

Website targets 'free campers'

1:45 pm on 26 December 2008

Authorities are cracking down on so-called freedom campers.

Many local communities say they are tired of having irresponsible tourists park their vehicles and camp in reserves or laybys just off main roads. They say they are worried about the toll this "free camping" is taking on the environment.

A spokesperson for Tourism Industry Association, Geoff Ensor, says freedom camping is part of the New Zealand experience, but visitors need to know how to be responsible.

A website has been set up to inform visitors about the correct way to freedom camp in specific regions. The site also urges tourists to check with local authorities before setting up camp.

"No camping" signs will be put up at some of the locations considered to be most at risk.