Freedom campers banned from two Queenstown hotspots


Freedom campers will be banned from two hotspots in the Queenstown Lakes District, the districts mayor says. 

Mayor Jim Boult called a public announcement on Thursday to discuss the districts camping issues. 

He said the minority of freedom campers and day trippers were "using the area as a giant toilet". 

The reserve area at North end of Lake Hayes and the Shotover Delta will be banned from freedom campers within a month. 

"We will be introducing [the ban] within a couple of weeks," the Mayor said. 

The ban will target the two main areas where the complaints are coming from.

The Mayor also said this was very much an issue "near and dear" to locals, acknowledging Queenstown resident Justine Farquharson, who launched a petition for the council to ban freedom camping in the hotspots.

He said day trippers were also part of the problem and it was not freedom campers alone. 

"This is to address the actions of irresponsible minority and unfortunately lovely folk freedom campers are going to find there will be areas they can't in camp because of actions of a few."

He said freedom camping was a nationwide problem but Queenstown took a lot of the heat because it is a popular tourist destination. 

It was "unfortunate" to take these measures but the prime responsibility was to look after the locals, he said. 

A district-wide ban was not off the table and people found camping in prohibited areas would be fined $200.