Waihi Beach readies for freedom campers

Freedom campers rejoice - Kiwicamp arrives in Bowentown.

A campers service hub planned for Waihi Beach will be up and operating by Christmas – but seven kilometres and eight minutes driving time down the road at Bowentown.

The arrival of KiwiCamp at Waihi Beach was delayed earlier this year while the council negotiated with concerned locals over the most suitable location of the facility.

The WBOPDC is one of 30 local authorities nationwide to get $200,000 from the Ministry of Business and Innovation and Employment for KiwiCamp – a measure aimed at easing community annoyance at freedom campers flooding Waihi Beach over summer.

KiwiCamp facilities are a clean and modern ablution block with secure overnight parking and all the services travelers need but don’t want to pay a lot of money for. It provides cooking and dishwashing facilities, laundry facilities, waste and recycling options, and wireless internet and device charging.

“The KiwiCamp installation is expected to arrive on site at the Bowentown Domain carpark in Seaforth Road during the week of December 9 so it will be ready for use by Christmas,” says Western Bay District Council’s Peter Watson.

Anyone can access the facility’s services provided they have pay-as-you-use digital key system called KiwiCash. Digital Keys will be available for purchase for $5 at all five Council area offices in the Western Bay from the beginning of December. KiwiCash is a smart way of accessing KiwiCamp facilities anywhere in New Zealand.

Freedom campers wishing to camp overnight in the carpark must still comply with Council’s Freedom Camping Bylaw which requires any vehicle to be self-contained and only stay for a maximum of three nights in any four-week period.

Complying vehicles must stay within approved areas at 47 freedom camping sites across the district. The WBOPDC employs a security firm from October to March to ensure compliance with the bylaw.

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