Two popular campgrounds near to Rotorua now require online booking prior to arrival; a change to help manage the effects of increased domestic tourism this summer.
Ashpit and Brett Road campgrounds on the shores of Lake Rerewhakaaitu now require online bookings.
Previously, these campgrounds required campers to register and pay on arrival, leaving the camp fees in the iron ranger.
DOC manages around 300 low-cost campgrounds across New Zealand. The Rerewhakaaitu campgrounds are two of 43 campsites that have recently changed to require advance booking.
“Visitors are now able to book, pay and manage their reservation for a range of campsites and huts through the DOC website,” says Tim Bamford, DOC’s insight and strategy manager.
“Providing individuals, groups and families confidence their accommodation is sorted and secured before arrival will enable more Kiwis to take advantage of their conservation accommodation facilities and provide a fairer system for all.
“Another advantage of the booking service is, in advance of their trip we can provide customers with safety information, track updates and if the reservation is affected by bad weather, other natural events or any cancelations due to potential COVID-19 alert level changes,” says Tim.
“Our bookings and track counter data shows New Zealanders' desire to get out into our great outdoors has been, and continues to be, strong, with significant peaks over weekends and holidays in many places.
“We’d encourage people to plan ahead and book early – particularly for the Christmas period and long weekends. Despite border restrictions, we’re seeing many DOC facilities remain busy this year.”
Visitors who turn up without a booking run the risk of not being allowed to stay. Some campgrounds are already fully booked.
Online bookings have been required for Hot Water Beach on the shores of Lake Tarawera for many years. This DOC campground is managed by Totally Tarawera and Whakarewarewa Charitable Trust.
To start booking including creating your account visit: bookings.doc.govt.nz. The DOC website also provides details on the campground rules about dogs and fires.