top of page
6 Summer 2023
An El Niño summer gives a sterner edge to commonsense precautions. Caught in the middle or a camper upgrade?  Encourage the small towns to love us.


Miriam Richardson

An El Niño summer

It seems we are having an El Niño summer. Hotter, windier, dryer north and east, wetter in the west; dramatic temperature swings, and extreme, possibly damaging winds. This weather demands our attention as we head into our prime summer camping season.

Are the roads ok? Will the wind be ok for driving? Will it be safe near that tree, that branch, with this wind forecast? Should I carry extra water? What is the fire risk?

These are questions for every trip, but El Niño gives them a sterner edge. Having reserve supplies of all kinds in case you get stranded (fuel, meds, water &c) might be becoming basic commonsense. Radio is your emergency friend where mobiles won’t work.

The government gives us some tools to help:

tiaki: Care for New Zealand

Caught in the middle

For those caught in the middle with their campervans and self-containment, you have tough choices, with freedom camping dodgy at best. Councils are just learning how to enforce the new, inadequate law, some traditional places are off limits as necessary new bylaws havent had time to go through. It’s confusing and disappointing on many fronts. So we just have to throw our hearts over, and find the best way we can to enjoy our country, our summer, our camping. All creative solutions to the conundrums are welcome — do please share it with us all.

Encourage the small towns to love us

Park considerately. Leave the space tidier than when you arrived. Spend some money, visit their attractions, walk and bike their tracks, appreciate their views and share their joy. They could well build and shape a positive free-camping future for us all if we inspire them to do so.

Tiaki mai.

Kindly sponsored by

All Points Camping Club of NZ and NZ Lifestyle Camping


More on Freedom camping and self-containment:


bottom of page