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Temporary Sites For Freedom Campers Established During COVID-19 Shutdown


With the country now at COVID-19 Alert Level Four, Nelson City Council must control access to our region’s campsites to protect staff, permanent residents and the community.

With this in mind, Nelson/Tasman Civil Defence team have worked with the region’s commercial campgrounds to provide a temporary space for Freedom Campers who don't have a place to stay for the next 4 weeks in isolation.

Locations have been setup at:

  • Tahunanui Beach Kiwi Holiday Park
  • Pohara Beach Camp
  • Motueka Top 10 Holiday Park
  • Kaiteriteri Recreation Reserve Camp (camp office is closed so you must call ahead).

With freedom campers in the region now provided with a safe alternative, all freedom camping sites in both Nelson and Tasman will close with immediate effect for the duration of the shutdown.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says Civil Defence had to provide a careful balance between helping tourists who are unable to return to their home countries, and ensuring that everything possible was done to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We really are in this together, and I know that many tourists here are very distressed at the fact that they cannot go home during this crisis. We now have places for them to stay where they will be able to physically distance themselves from other campers. It may not be the trip they had planned but does mean everyone in our community can keep as safe as possible.”

The Brook Valley Holiday Park and Maitai Valley Motorcamp are closed to new arrivals. Both of these sites are not large enough, and do not have enough shared facilities, to accommodate any more guests than they currently hold. Permanent residents at both campsites are not being asked to move, nor are campers who are already staying.

The government has stated that accommodation, including campsites and motorhomes, are essential services. There will be strict measures at campsites that remain open to ensure that good hygiene and physical distancing advice can be followed.

Campers who are not in self-contained vehicles will stay in a different section to campers in self-contained vehicles, and permanent residents. Berths are being spaced far enough apart to ensure residents can remain physically distant. Additional cleaning of the facilities is being undertaken to minimize the chance of any viral spread.

Essential facilities can stay open but with strict management. This includes: kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. The following rules will apply:

  • The use of these facilities must be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • They are only to be used by named guests that have no alternative.
  • Cleaning protocols will be heightened
  • All guests that use the shared facilities will be provided with disinfectant spray to wipe down contact areas after use.
  • Guests will be allocated times for them to use essential facilities and hygiene expectations will be made clear

Signage is being erected at all freedom camping sites and as of today (Monday, 30 March), police will visit move freedom campers to the nearest designated campground.

If anyone is concerned about someone breaching the lockdown, then you can contact Police through their online form



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