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Talking to four van loads of international tourists

Bette Cosgrove

On my last roadie I met and chatted with four van loads of international tourists from UK, Australia and Germany who have been freedom camping around NZ in small (slider-type) hire vans from Escape or Jucy.

How wonderful to welcome them back as tourists.

Things I learned from all four groups.

  • They absolutely LOVE our country and feel privileged to be able to enjoy our natural beauty

  • They travelled up and down both islands.

  • They spend a lot of money — on food, petrol and hireage. They found NZ was very expensive!

  • They were all here for minimum 5-6 weeks.

  • They clean up after themselves — their vehicles and campsites were spotless.

  • They all commented about our 'four seasons in one day' weather. v

  • They could not understand why their small vehicles might no longer qualify for CSC, if the law changes and restricts where they could stay. They all felt this law change might discourage visitors from coming if freedom camping was more limited.

  • They use apps and chat to other travellers to find top spots and had met some lovely people.

  • They didn't use their onboard portapotties because they said there were always toilets where they stopped in the allocated/restricted freedom camp or DOC sites. One couple couldn't understand why some toilets were locked at night. A good question. One family, in a Jucy van, here for 8 weeks, had used the portapotty twice for their young son.

  • They had never had an inspection by a council officer.

It was great to meet them all briefly. Another special part of being on the road.

Haere mai all you fabulous tourists.


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