The Turangi Police Station can just be seen peeping through the trees on right and the local supermarket and the famous Turangi Tavern are located opposite.
Meanwhile Taupo Council are getting all nervy about what to do and where to send this new tourist category called ‘freedom campers’ in Turangi as there are just so many of them all wanting to stay in Paradise.
“Freedom camping bylaw being drafted”.
With the silly season upon us – thousands of camper vans are about to invade every available scenic parking area in the Taupo-Turangi-Tongariro region – some land owners are reacting.
These ‘freedom campers’ are usually the transient type of modern gypsies just passing through. We have nothing against them coming – except envy… If they were real tourists they would be staying at a motel.
For the last few years many of these camper vans have stayed at the Tokaanu Marina. Apparently the land belongs to Genesis who understandably object to their marina and boat launching facilities being turned into a free motor camp.
So this season they have erected no less than eight notices on the road access to the marina to discourage campers.
DOC and Taupo Council should learn from their agressive signage example. There is no way they can be misinterpreted.
But the camper vans carry ‘tourists’ and council still does not want to discourage their spending habits.
It is now NZ’s biggest export earner contributing $14.5 Billion or 20.7 % of NZ’s foreign exchange earnings for the year ended March.
So instead our tourist orientated responsible Council have nominated the large usually vacant tree lined landscaped car park area next to the Turangi shopping centre.
So it will be interesting to watch the results.
The location is considered an inspired choice for other reasons.
It is conveniently located directly opposite the local cop shop. Perfect!
That should discourage any who plan to misbehave…
Other town centre facilities are conveniently available such as the local tavern, laundromat, etc.
Whilst most consider the temporary conversion of the car park into a camping ground during summer tourist season is appropriate, you can never please everyone…?
The local Turangi councillor, who one might imagine should support any positive tourism initiatives, (?) is a local real estate sales agent who strongly disagrees and is trying hard to generate anti-freedom campers support to shift them elsewhere.
The new tourist camper van parking area is directly outside of his office! Perhaps he suffers the “NIMBY” (Not in my back yard) complex.
Another interesting argument for shifting them is the huge motel/camping ground/hostel/cabins recently redeveloped as Tongariro Junction Motel – where Club Habitat used to operate adjacent the supermarket.
Their signs and entrance (see images below – specifically aimed at the Asian tourist market) are opposite the Police Station too.
So watch this space. Locals look forward to some entertainment from the crowding this summer…
More info on the proposed bylaw can be found at taupodc.govt.nz