New app helps property owners pimp their driveways to motorhome travellers.
Rather than risk fines for illegal freedom camping, motor home travellers will be able to stay the night beside a chook run, a vineyard, or even in the car park of a fancy resort.
Campable, a new app designed to hook up motor home travellers with private property owners, is being touted as a solution to freedom camping woes, with hosts typically charging $30 per vehicle.
The app is the work of Auckland company Parkable which helps property owners hire out parking spaces in vacant driveways and car parks in Auckland and Wellington.
The app allows organisations such as sports clubs to earn extra income, and hosts include farms, cafes, adventure tourism businesses, vineyards and commercial accommodation providers such as Wairakei Resort Taupo and the Maruia Springs Thermal Resort.
Campable director Toby Littin said they would have 400 properties listed on Campable by the end of the month and hoped to provide 50,000 guest nights in their first year with plans to expand to Australia by next summer.
Campable could also help overcome a shortage of affordable accommodation for Lions tour fans with 200 sites confirmed at Alexandra Park raceway, and Littin said the goal was to have up to 300 private property sites in Auckland by the time the tour kicked off.
Charges around the country ranged from $10 a night for a basic parking space to $60 for a "powered" spot in a resort car park, access to the hotel amenities and two glasses of wine.
Littin said most sites required vehicles to be fully selfcontained with toilet facilities, but some hosts offered guests the run of the house.
"If they don't, the price will reflect that and it's a nice cheap place to say that's safe, secure and off the street".
Some hosts used the income earned from Campable to fund conservation work on their land but profit was not the main motive.
"On the host side it's that innate desire to host rather than drive revenue, it's that desire to share your part of New Zealand. That's a bigger motivator than the money itself".
Littin said the big advantage for travellers was that they got to mix with locals.
"They really want that unique experience instead of being packed wing mirror to wing mirror with a bunch of other tourists in over crowded freedom camping areas".
Hosts were encouraged to provide "extras" for their guests, such as a tour of their farm or vineyard, a bottle of wine or a free game of golf.
Littin said the company helped hosts go through the regulatory process if they wanted to become registered camping grounds so they could accommodate more than one motorhome at a time.
He said some commercial camping grounds had registered on the app because it gave them the opportunity to link up with a new audience, particularly in the off season when they had plenty of vacancies.