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Thousands of campers flock to DOC campsites

Thousands of campers flock to DOC campsites

Thousands of New Zealanders have taken time out to camp and relax in Department of Conservation campsites around the country this summer, Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says.

DOC manages more than 300 campsites from Kapuwairua (Spirits Bay) in Northland to Rakiura/Stewart Island.

The most popular campgrounds in the North Island are Maitai Bay (Northland) and Waikawau Bay (Coromandel) with 30,000 visitors (bed-nights) for the 2010/2011 season. In the South Island Totaranui is the most-used with 29,000 users for that period.

Campsite managers’ reported high numbers of campers over the Christmas-New Year period in Northland, the Coromandel and upper South Island.

All five popular coastal Coromandel campsites (Fantail Bay, Port Jackson, Fletcher Bay, Stony Bay and Waikawau Bay) were busy with record numbers at the Waikawau Bay campsite, which peaked at 1400 people.

“National has spent $5 million improving current campgrounds and has opened several new ones, so it’s great to hear that so many people are making the most of the excellent campsites available on conservation land,” Ms Wilkinson says.

“I am also pleased to hear reports from a number of areas that this season campers have been exceptionally well-behaved with fewer issues than usual.”

This year the 1000 campers at the popular Totaranui campsite in Golden Bay enjoyed good weather. The beach-side site, at the northern end of Abel Tasman National Park, has been full since Boxing Day with mostly family groups who tend to stay for up to 2-3 weeks.

Meanwhile, poor weather in parts of the South Island, which also caused flooding on the Milford Track, kept camper numbers down in DOC campsites in central Otago and Southland.

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