Freedom campers



  • Its been a pretty hot topic for the past few summer and apparently some of them had a gun pulled on them, its pretty hard to feel sorry for the twat in the video all the same  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/77487235/freedom-campers-being-treated-appallingly-in-canterbury 
     
    While I obviously don't condone pulling a gun on them especially when pepper spray or a taser are non lethal and will suffice, it's getting pretty obvious locals in popular spots have had enough of these freeloaders treating their towns like a giant toilet.
    Personally I think the local authorities should be clamping the vans wheels in the dead of night and making the hippies pay a decent fine to get it removed , they'll spread the word to their hippy mates back home that freedom camping is a no go in NZ and as they spend next to nothing while they are here we won't notice their absence.
    Having said that the cretins at places like Jucy rentals have a played a pretty big part in making this into the problem its become.
     
    In the meantime a guy at work said he carries a loaf of bread in his ute and if he sees freedom campers on the way to work  he pulls over and chuck bits of it onto the roof of their vans, I imagine they don't enjoy being woken to the sound of seagulls scrapping over a morsel a foot or so above their head in the early hours of the day.



  • I love the bit where he talks about how much NZ needs tourists, he's been in NZ a year & he's free camping.. I'm going to hazard a guess he's not really putting much into the NZ economy.
     
    I free camped my way round Europe in a combi & spend fuck all, but I never tried to imply I was helping out their economy
     
    We need tourists to come in, spend money, stay in hotels. Not sleep in car parks & shit in a bag & then toss it into the nearest park & then go back to perfecting hacky-sack with his girlfriend Stardust who is a proffesional juggler & henna tattoist.



  • I love the bit where he talks about how much NZ needs tourists, he's been in NZ a year & he's free camping.. I'm going to hazard a guess he's not really putting much into the NZ economy.
     
    I free camped my way round Europe in a combi & spend fuck all, but I never tried to imply I was helping out their economy
     
    We need tourists to come in, spend money, stay in hotels. Not sleep in car parks & shit in a bag & then toss it into the nearest park & then go back to perfecting hacky-sack with his girlfriend Stardust who is a proffesional juggler & henna tattoist.

    If you factor in their use of our infrastructure against their spend they are probably a dead loss, another article pointed out how they like to park outside libraries using the free wifi and other freeloading behaviour. 
    We don't need tourists like that, in fact we need to actively discourage cretins like the guy in the video from visiting until they have some money to spend,



  • I have no doubt whatsoever that there are freeloaders out there that are most certainly on the wrong side of the ledger if you balance up their spend v cost.
    I have also met quite a few young travellers and are empathetic to them, having done the same in their countries in my younger days.
    I don't know any kind of percentage but I do meet young campers during the summer in paid camping areas that will use free camping areas to supplement their stay and afford other tourist spending opportunities. Many will rough camp for a couple of nights as they move through areas then pay for camping for a couple of nights in areas they want to stop at and go bungy jumping/whale watching/dolphin swimming/etc etc.
    The trick that most councils haven't grasped is how to control it. These campers communicate and spread the word through social media. There are dedicated pages/sites /blogs that they use to find where to stop for the night.
    Most of the ones I have spoken to don't actually like the overcrowded unpoliced feral areas but sometimes find themselves in them as they are somewhat committed once they get there with the option of staying or driving away without stopping in the area at all.
    When provided with a viable other option they will often jump at it. Some councils manage the situation better than others.
    East Coast make you purchase stickers for each night and be self contained. The cost is minimal and far cheaper than a commercial campsite. The money collected funds rangers that check the areas for non compliance and enforce the rules.
    Other places will allow overnight parking up in town areas in Council owned carparks with toilet facilities. This contains campers into easily monitored areas (with liquor bans) and provides the ability to boot them out each morning.
    The main reason tourists look for these type of areas is that if they are self contained (or just need a toilet) they feel it is a waste of money to pay $40-$50 to pull into a commercial campground at 8pm and leave 12 hours later simply for the need of a toilet.
    It's a balancing act between keeping the local business (campground) owners happy and not creating a situation to be exploited.
    I have camped and used motorcamps all my life and have seen ways where commercial (or council owned) camping grounds can better accommodate overnight users that require less facilities at a lower cost. Considering that the majority of campgrounds only make money during holiday periods from families that want full facilities and will pay for it, there is a lot of scope to increase budget level patronage during the rest of the year.



  • I went up to Kosciusko one time, and on the way to the top, a nice, smiling trio of Canadians were coming the other way having camped there overnight. Their camper was at the road in (only other vehicle).
    We got up there and found a bag of rubbish - not large, but rubbish nonetheless. Very unhappy.
    I don't mind if they find ways to minimise their costs, because caravan parks are exorbitant IMHO, but just respect the place, particularly when it's a national park and a fairly rare Alpine area



  • I blame the council. It's one thing to permit freeloaders, but to not put in the infrastructure to to support your own policy is idiotic.



  • I don't think they ever anticipated that amount of freeloading euro trash would descend upon their camping areas . A simple sign saying a maximum of x amount of people can camp here at once might have helped . A summer spent by councils clamping and forcing thrm to move on would spread as quickly on social media as the message that we are a soft touch as a tourist destination for people who intend living off the smell of an oily rag .



  • Rather than having a council beset with loony Greens and developers, all that they require is a voice of sanity; a person who hates humanity. That person would point out if you make something free, fuckloads of undesirables will descend on mass.



  • Fairly big difference between some young people cruising around in a car for a couple of months, and some guy living in his car for a year whilst picking apples.
     
    I've done plenty of budget travelling in my time, and I know which places I'll go back to spend more cash - many I already have, so to dismiss them all is taking an extremely short term view.  I think as a backpacker I probably spent a whole $1000 USD in Thailand in a couple of months, but as a working professional,who lives nearby, I've probably spent almost 20x that.  Hell, I got married in a place I went to backpacking and enjoyed, I still feel ill thinking about what that cost me!



  • Backpackers and people travelling on the cheap is nothing new. But I don't recall so-called freedom campers doing the rounds until ... 8 - 10 years or so? Or at least in such numbers...



  • Backpackers and people travelling on the cheap is nothing new. But I don't recall so-called freedom campers doing the rounds until ... 8 - 10 years or so? Or at least in such numbers...

    Cars used to be too expensive a prospect and not suited to sleeping in but the recent explosion of vehicles easily set up to convert into (uncomfortable) sleeping quarters has led to this.
    You used to carry a tent or stay in youth hostels, then independent cheap backpacker places took over. Now you buy an old jap import people mover on Facebook, thrash it then sell it to the next person on the way out of the country.



  • Was out at the beach fairly early yesterday, and there were 2 hot young German girls that had slept the night in the back of thier Surf, they left only footprints and an impression on a class of 10yr old boys....



  • Yeah, got no problem with the ones who toddle from place to place and leave their space immaculate, ie they actually respect where they are. But the fucktards who leave their trash and shit should be hunted down, fined to an inch of their lives and thrown out of the country.



  • Yeah, got no problem with the ones who toddle from place to place and leave their space immaculate, ie they actually respect where they are. But the fucktards who leave their trash and shit should be hunted down, fined to an inch of their lives and thrown out of the country.

    I think there's going to be more violence towards them before anything changes. Lonely planet and the other websites/books these people use as a guide should really be warning these people how unpopular they are.



  • I dunno if they should be warning them about that, they should be pushing the respecting the environment angle.



  • That's a good point too, they give warnings about hitch hiking here though.



  • I have no doubt whatsoever that there are freeloaders out there that are most certainly on the wrong side of the ledger if you balance up their spend v cost.
    I have also met quite a few young travellers and are empathetic to them, having done the same in their countries in my younger days.
    I don't know any kind of percentage but I do meet young campers during the summer in paid camping areas that will use free camping areas to supplement their stay and afford other tourist spending opportunities. Many will rough camp for a couple of nights as they move through areas then pay for camping for a couple of nights in areas they want to stop at and go bungy jumping/whale watching/dolphin swimming/etc etc.
    The trick that most councils haven't grasped is how to control it. These campers communicate and spread the word through social media. There are dedicated pages/sites /blogs that they use to find where to stop for the night.
    Most of the ones I have spoken to don't actually like the overcrowded unpoliced feral areas but sometimes find themselves in them as they are somewhat committed once they get there with the option of staying or driving away without stopping in the area at all.
    When provided with a viable other option they will often jump at it. Some councils manage the situation better than others.
    East Coast make you purchase stickers for each night and be self contained. The cost is minimal and far cheaper than a commercial campsite. The money collected funds rangers that check the areas for non compliance and enforce the rules.
    Other places will allow overnight parking up in town areas in Council owned carparks with toilet facilities. This contains campers into easily monitored areas (with liquor bans) and provides the ability to boot them out each morning.
    The main reason tourists look for these type of areas is that if they are self contained (or just need a toilet) they feel it is a waste of money to pay $40-$50 to pull into a commercial campground at 8pm and leave 12 hours later simply for the need of a toilet.
    It's a balancing act between keeping the local business (campground) owners happy and not creating a situation to be exploited.
    I have camped and used motorcamps all my life and have seen ways where commercial (or council owned) camping grounds can better accommodate overnight users that require less facilities at a lower cost. Considering that the majority of campgrounds only make money during holiday periods from families that want full facilities and will pay for it, there is a lot of scope to increase budget level patronage during the rest of the year.

    This seems to be the problem. Councils allow freedom camping but don't provide anything in the way of facilities.



  • This seems to be the problem. Councils allow freedom camping but don't provide anything in the way of facilities.

    Until recently it wasn't an issue . Replace thd word council with ratepayers and you see the real issue. Ratepayers don't provide enough facilities for freedom campers, so ratepayers should fork out to provide more toilets for people to stay in their town and contribute nothing. That doesn't sound like a fair deal to me.



  • Until recently it wasn't an issue . Replace thd word council with ratepayers and you see the real issue. Ratepayers don't provide enough facilities for freedom campers, so ratepayers should fork out to provide more toilets for people to stay in their town and contribute nothing. That doesn't sound like a fair deal to me.

    And worse, some of those ratepayers will be in the holiday accommodation business themselves, whether they own them or make a living from working there. If I owned a campground I'd be pretty pissed off if my rates were being used to fund facilities that actively drew people away from by business.



  • Classic freeloading behaviour. Having said that, even freedom campers pay GST, immigration fees and levies and border levies, so maybe central government can stump up a bit.



  • Classic freeloading behaviour. Having said that, even freedom campers pay GST, immigration fees and levies and border levies, so maybe central government can stump up a bit.

    Stump up on what? We shouldn't be encouraging this type of tourist at all , their contribution is minimal.



  • And worse, some of those ratepayers will be in the holiday accommodation business themselves, whether they own them or make a living from working there. If I owned a campground I'd be pretty pissed off if my rates were being used to fund facilities that actively drew people away from by business.

    Good point , I'd be furious if I owned a campground and was expected to support these freeloaders through extra rates.



  • Stump up on what? We shouldn't be encouraging this type of tourist at all , their contribution is minimal.
    Yep, to roughly borrow an angle from Sir Paul Callaghan, more tourists being good doesn't mean that we need ten times the number of people walking the Milford track/Tongariro Crossing either. Somewhere there's got to be a balance between volume and value, yet without chasing away the 'young now but in future more wealthy' MajorRage type tourists who do actually clean up after themselves.



  • I agree, but as long central government allows it, central government should pay for it. If a local government wanted to levy something, higher rates on retail and hospitality, excluding accommodation providers, would be one way to do it.



  • Good point , I'd be furious if I owned a campground and was expected to support these freeloaders through extra rates.

    These campground owners are in the prime position to benefit from these travellers but have not adjusted their business models to suit.
    I stayed at a campground just north of Gisborne this summer that charged $40 for us to set up on a non powered site. The toilet and shower facilities were extremely basic and the kitchen like something cobbled together with spare parts and held together by flies.
    The was basically no advantage staying there over a free camping area.
    There is actually a good argument for central govt planning and involvement here. Many of these tourists take money into areas of the country that locals don't.
    I don't condone the bad ones at all and agree with Mokey on dealing with them. I just think plenty of good ones are getting a bad rap as well and the whole situation could be handled better to mutual benefit.



  • Interesting how quickly attitudes change, I was at Carters yesterday and two very hot female tourists came in asking where they could buy foam. Instantly everyone was offering helpful suggestions and someone asked if they it was for a bed in the back of their people mover and one of them giggled and said they were freedom camping, all the guys in the room were saying how cool they thought freedom camping was and hoped they were having a good time and if they followed their car he would direct them to the nearest Spotlight where they could buy foam.
     
    I imagine to male german backpackers would have got a very very different response.



  • These campground owners are in the prime position to benefit from these travellers but have not adjusted their business models to suit.
    I stayed at a campground just north of Gisborne this summer that charged $40 for us to set up on a non powered site. The toilet and shower facilities were extremely basic and the kitchen like something cobbled together with spare parts and held together by flies.
    The was basically no advantage staying there over a free camping area.
    There is actually a good argument for central govt planning and involvement here. Many of these tourists take money into areas of the country that locals don't.
    I don't condone the bad ones at all and agree with Mokey on dealing with them. I just think plenty of good ones are getting a bad rap as well and the whole situation could be handled better to mutual benefit.

    I was at Tolaga bay at the same time as you and was impressed by those people camping on the roadside, they'd bought their own portaloos etc in accordance with the signs that were placed around the area. I didn't really have a look at the motor camp but if I was a backpacker the safety aspect of being in one would outwiegh the cost of staying there, theres been a few of these people attacked when they camped off the beaten track.



  • I have to declare my stupidity here I thought freedom camping was when you went hiking and just set up a tent in the bush somewhere rather then stay in a hut. 
     
    So people drive around in vans and sleep in the back? How scenic is the average car park in NZ these days?
     
    Mooshld



  • I must confess I laugh my fcuking ar$e off every time I see someone complain about campers coming over here and making a mess.
     
    People have no idea what kiwis are like in europe.. am going to throw out there that they're a shedload worse.
     
    here's an example from a 'freedom' camping site in germany...
    [attachment=1997:MOre Carnage.jpg]



  • Looks to me like gypsies have stolen someone poor Kiwi's motorhome. 😉



  • I must confess I laugh my fcuking ar$e off every time I see someone complain about campers coming over here and making a mess.
     
    People have no idea what kiwis are like in europe.. am going to throw out there that they're a shedload worse.
     
    here's an example from a 'freedom' camping site in germany...
    MOre Carnage.jpg

    If you look carefully, you can see Mooloo jersies and empty cans of Waikato...tells you a lot about the people there! 🙂



  • I must confess I laugh my fcuking ar$e off every time I see someone complain about campers coming over here and making a mess.
     
    People have no idea what kiwis are like in europe.. am going to throw out there that they're a shedload worse.
     
    here's an example from a 'freedom' camping site in germany...
    MOre Carnage.jpg

    I'm sure kiwis over there behave like ferals, thats the problem of the countries in europe to deal with not ours. Does anyone think kiwis are going to stop going to europe? Thats one of the excuses that keeps cropping up, "unless we create better facilities for these freeloaders to use without paying for them they'll stop coming". 
    Good, sounds like a plan to me.



  • On Radiolive today they were saying that the number of freedom campers each year is 12,000 - out of roughly 3m tourists.
     
    This was during a discussion about Wicked.



  • some of the slogans on those campers are very poor taste and offensive.



  • The ones I've seen are just puerile.



  • The ones I've seen are just puerile.

    Yep , reminds me of the cocks who promoted Hell pizza in the early days



  • Interestingly, the freedom campers spend more money than the average tourist.



  • Interestingly, the freedom campers spend more money than the average tourist.

    Can you post a link to that? I saw a story about that last week and the maths looked a bit messed up.



  • The ones I've seen are just puerile.

    the vans look like shit on the whole. They look like they spent the week parked up in the ghetts of LA or South  Auckland, tagged to shit.
    They are just a fucking eye sore. Im sure they are popular with freedom campers (aka parasites) but from reports overseas families use them too. Why would you ?



  • the vans look like shit on the whole. They look like they spent the week parked up in the ghetts of LA or South  Auckland, tagged to shit.
    They are just a fucking eye sore. Im sure they are popular with freedom campers (aka parasites) but from reports overseas families use them too. Why would you ?

    Price. They are cheap
     
    About 2/3s the cost of an equivalent 'Spacehip' camper and if you look at at the Wicked website they look quite tidy with no sign of offensive slogans just comic like graphic art.
     
    Plenty of families probably being quite shocked with what they go to pick up.


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