One of the major attractions of New Zealand is the beautiful scenery and the freedom to be able to experience this landscape. Freedom camping is a popular choice for New Zealanders and tourists, as it builds a great experience of being close to nature. As in all parts of New Zealand, in the Ashburton District there is designated freedom camping areas, as well as areas where camping is prohibited. Please respect the rules to ensure our freedom camping areas remain for everyone to enjoy.
When you are camping and cooking outdoors food poisoning can be a real risk, especially if foods are not stored at the correct temperature or aren’t protected from contamination. This information sheet has been produced to provide you with a few safe food tips to remember when camping and cooking outdoors
Ashburton District Council Bylaw Chapter 10 states:
- No person shall (except as permitted in this chapter or any other part of this bylaw or by statutory provision) camp in or upon any public place where they may cause a nuisance to other persons
And; Ashburton District Council Bylaw Chapter 18 states:
- No person shall place, put up or erect any stall, tent or structure of any kind
within a Park or Public garden except with the specific permission of a
Council officer and then only in accordance with any and every condition
attaching to any permission so granted
Other laws which may be broken when freedom camping include littering laws and fire ban laws. All these laws are in place for a reason – to ensure that our natural areas are preserved for all to enjoy.
How to be a responsible Freedom Camper
- Take ALL your rubbish with you when you leave. Ashburton has a waste facility on Range road in the Ashburton industrial park
- Avoid using the natural environment as your toilet. Camp facilities are available with toilets (see below)
- Do not discharge waste water from washing activities in or near streams, rivers or the ocean. Some washing detergents and soaps can be toxic to aquatic wildlife
- Do NOT light a fire during a fire ban, or in a fire ban area. For information on fire-bans check for signage at your camping site or contact the Council
Reserve areas in the Ashburton District
If an area has signage instructing that there should be no camping, then this must be abided by. The following list provides areas in the Ashburton District that are available for short term freedom camping. Toilet facilities only are provided at some but not all of the following:
- Rakaia Huts (Acton road)
- Taylors Stream (inland scenic route)
- Bowyers Stream (inland scenic route)
- Hinds River (inland scenic route)
Other Council camping areas (which may be managed by others and may include fees) include:
- Hakatere (River road)
- Lake Clearwater
- Rakaia Gorge
- Rangitata River mouth
If freedom camping is not well managed then those beautiful places that everyone loves to visit will become spoiled and polluted, and that is why everyone must work together to ensure that these areas are protected. For more information please call Council on 03 307 7700. THANKYOU!
One of the biggest challenges with camping is trying to keep your food cold. If you don’t have a fridge and a permanent power supply, food is often in the temperature danger zone for periods of time, which allows bacteria to cultivate. What is the temperature danger zone?
|As this picture explains, it is important to keep cold food cold below 5°C, and keep hot food steaming hot above 60°C.
So what can you do?
- Use dry, canned and UHT foods where ever possible
- If food is in a cooler, make sure it is cold before it is packed in, with frozen products on the bottom and ready to eat foods on the top. (precooked meals can be frozen in containers and left in a cooler for up to 24hrs, as long as they are reheated properly before consuming)
- add ice or ice packs where possible and keep your cooler in the shade
- Make sure that meats are cooked thoroughly, and not left out for more than 4 hours
Don’t keep leftovers, only cook enough for the meal and discard the rest
Food can become contaminated very easily in the outdoors and not just from flies, other insects or general dust and dirt. Here are some tips on protecting food from contamination:
- Wash your dishes and cooking utensils as you would at home, with clean water and detergent, and keep clean by storing in a sealable container
- Keep items used to prepare raw meats away from ready to eat foods
- WASH YOUR HANDS Regularly! that means before you prepare food, after handling raw meats, after going to the toilet etc Use soap (or disposable wipes) and make sure you dry your hands thoroughly
- Cover any ready to eat foods to protect from flies which can transmit bacteria
Just because a river or stream looks clean, it doesn’t mean there are not harmful bacteria or other organisms in the water that could make you sick. Please read the following tips regarding drinking water:
- Take enough clean water for your entire trip if possible, ensuring the water comes from a reliable source and is filled in clean and sanitised containers
- If you must take water from a natural source ensure the water is running clear, and not stagnant. Please avoid the stock races as this water source is not guaranteed to be clean
- Before consuming water from a natural source treat the water by boiling for 1min, or adding sterilisation tablets or treat with other approved methods
- If going walking ALWAYS take water with you in a bottle that is sealable and easy to carry
Above all please have respect for the environment around you and other campers, And HAVE FUN!
For further information visit Tourism Industry NZ website