17 Dec 2011

DoC tightens security at camp

5:41 am on 17 December 2011

The Department of Conservation is using private security guards to patrol its campsites in Queenstown as new legislation gets tough on freedom campers.

The department expects many more campers to use its public campsites this summer because of the crackdown on freedom camping.

The Freedom Camping Act, which came into effect in August, allows local authorities to hand out instant $200 fines to illegally parked campers.

DoC Queenstown community relations ranger Chris Hankin says the police will be called to remove rowdy campers who refuse to co-operate with the guards.

"The way electronics and that works these days they can get the music blaring quite easily and they might drink a lot and break bottles etc, and that tends to push away some of the people who just want to enjoy it a little bit more quietly," he said.