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Camping in parks more popular

Camping in parks more popular

11 August 2005

The Auckland Regional Council is now the biggest provider of camping in the Auckland region.

A report to the council’s Parks and Heritage Committee yesterday showed there has been a steady increase in use of the ARC’s 36 campgrounds over the last five years. Approximately 65,000 people camped on regional parks last year.

Councillor Sandra Coney, Parks and Heritage Committee chair, says this is partly explained by the closing of some private campgrounds as owners capitalise on high prices for coastal land.

“As a public agency the ARC plays a critical role in ensuring that all Aucklanders can still enjoy a low-cost holiday at the beach or in the great outdoors, keeping the great Kiwi holiday alive.”

ARC senior recreation advisor Neil Olsen says Tawharanui and Shakespear Regional Parks are the most popular campsites.

“However the growing popularity of mountain biking in the Hunua Ranges has seen Mangatawhiri experience the greatest growth in camping,” he says.

“People enjoy camping in our parks because they’re peaceful and have spectacular scenery. All within easy reach of Auckland.

“The thing people really enjoy is getting back to basics.

“There are a number of parks where people can camp that aren’t very well known. We’d like to encourage people to camp in places like Awhitu and Tapapakanga on the Firth of Thames.”

The recent survey showed overwhelming support for online booking of campsites.

Mr Olsen says the Auckland Regional Council plans to have this service available on its website by summer.

Charges for camping in regional parks average $10 per adult a night. Off-season annual passes cost $30 for tenting and $60 for campervans.

Information about the region’s parks and camping is available at www.arc.govt.nz.

ENDS

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