Punakaiki has had enough of freedom campers

The small township of Punakaki on the South Island's West Coast wants to become a no-go zone for freedom campers. 

Unprecedented amounts of tourists are bringing the unwelcome guests and their mess. 

"We are completely overwhelmed with all this freedom camping, we can't cope by ourselves. This is a very small community in Punakaki and we just can't do that by ourselves," says Punakaiki resident Patrick Volke.

The local campground is bursting with tourists this season.

But residents are frustrated as tourists set up camp just metres from their property.

"I just saw on the end of the road here in front of the campground, a lady went to the toilet right in front of where my campers were parked and it was absolutely disgusting. I was appalled," says Campground owner Jed Findlay.

The small township of just 130 residents can't cope with one of the busiest seasons ever. 

Department of Conservation operations manager Bob Dickson says locals are struggling to cope. 

"During the peak of the day, car parking is chocka. There is no room, there are queues for the toilet. It is unprecedented, we've never had that happen before," he says. 

Locals and the council are forced to wait until winter when a national direction on how to deal with the overwhelming freedom campers is made.