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Video series promotes responsible freedom camping

Press Release: 31 March 2011

Internet video series promotes responsible freedom camping in New Zealand

A new online video series aims to encourage tourists to respect the local environment when camping in New Zealand.

The travel series is part of The Daily English Show - an online educational show which was started in Japan five years ago by New Zealander Sarah Lilburn. The show is now made in Auckland and is one of the most popular NZ-based channels on YouTube.

Sarah said after living in Japan for almost nine years she was keen to travel around New Zealand again as well as introduce the country to her partner Yon, who is from Tokyo.

In January, Sarah and Yon did a month-long road trip around the coast of New Zealand. A series of 31 videos of the trip - The Daily English Show NZ Summer Tour 2011 - will be released online from tomorrow (1 April 2011) to YouTube and other video sites.

“We wanted to film a travel series to show our audience more of this beautiful country and thought it would be a good opportunity to promote responsible camping,” said Sarah.

Sarah said she got the idea after reading news stories about problems related to freedom camping in New Zealand.

“I thought we could do something positive to encourage people to respect the environment while travelling in New Zealand.”

The Daily English Show travelled in a United Campervans motorhome and mostly stayed in
holiday parks, camping grounds and at Native Parks motorhome havens. The series also promotes using recycling facilities, and visiting information centres to check where it’s OK to camp.

“We were happy to travel with United because they obviously take their environmental responsibility seriously,” said Sarah.

United Campervans is the only motorhome rental company in New Zealand to hold Silver certification with Earth Check and was a founding member of the New Zealand Freedom Camping Forum - an organisation formed in 2007 in response to concerns about the impact of freedom camping.

United Campervans Managing Director Kay Howe says she feels strongly about environmental issues because her business is based on people coming to see a “clean, green” country.

“If I don’t look after the values that they come to see, then my business won’t be here any more,” she said.

The company is also phasing out non-self-contained vehicles.

“If you travel in a self-contained vehicle it means you have the freedom to stay in designated camping areas which don’t have toilet facilities,” Kay said.

The travel series features an interview with Tourism Industry Association Advocacy Manager Geoff Ensor. Geoff says the New Zealand Freedom Camping Forum asks travellers to stay in Holiday Parks, Department of Conservation camping grounds or other designated areas.

He said the forum welcomes freedom camping but would like it done “our way” in New Zealand.
If travellers want to freedom camp, they need to check at information centres to find out the rules for the local area.

“If people are going to get the best experience they can ... they just need to ask and make sure they’re doing it in the way that that community would like.”

Geoff also said travelling in a self-contained vehicle gave campers more options.

“Generally communities around New Zealand are far more tolerant of those that have toilet facilities and waste facilities, so the camping options are more varied and there’s more of them.”

The Daily English Show NZ Summer Tour 2011 also includes safety advice for travellers from New Zealand Police. Sergeant Mark Fleming, of Counties-Manukau police says opportunist thieves were less likely to break into a vehicle if there are other people and vehicles around.

“Dedicated campsites, regional parks and camping with other travellers is a far safer way than going out alone,” he said.


© Scoop Media

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