23 Oct 2020

With the surf life saving season getting under way, Christchurch City Council is closing the North Beach Car Park to freedom campers at the weekends.

The North Beach Car Park is a popular spot for freedom campers but there have been issues in the past with camping activities taking over the carpark and preventing the public from accessing the beach and the surf lifesaving club.

In response to complaints from the community, the Council’s Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale decided earlier this year to close the car park to freedom campers from 7pm Friday to 7pm Sunday during the surf lifesaving season.

The surf lifesaving season traditionally starts at Labour Weekend.

“Freedom campers in certified, self-contained vehicles can still use the North Beach car park for up to two night during the week, but over the weekends the car park will be off-limits to them,’’ says Council Head of Strategic Policy Emma Davis.

“This summer we are expecting to see more Kiwis exploring our beautiful district. If you are planning a camping holiday, or have friends or family planning one, please remember there are restrictions on where you can freedom camp in Christchurch, Akaroa and Banks Peninsula.

“If you plan on camping in a tent or sleeping in a vehicle without facilities, you need to stay in a camping ground that has facilities you can use.  We have some fantastic camping grounds so there are plenty of options for people to choose from.

“If you’re planning a campervan holiday, you can freedom camp in some areas provided your campervan is certified, self-contained with a toilet, wastewater and rubbish facilities on board. Please be aware that camping in town centres and in Council parks and reserves is not allowed under our Freedom Camping Bylaw.

“There’s a great map on our website which shows you where you can stay or you can use the CamperMate app,’’ Ms Davis says.

“Our Freedom Camping Bylaw is five-years-old now and we will be reviewing it over the coming months to make sure it is still working as intended. Any proposed changes to the bylaw will be subject to public consultation next year.’’