New campervan sites for Rugby World Cup

WELLINGTON’s new central city campervan site a sealed carpark on the harbour front has just opened for business with the highest prices in the country.

And Wellington City Council council is still looking for places for temporary van sites for the Rugby World Cup.

The new site on Kumutoto Wharf on the waterfront near the Wellington Railway Station charges $50 a night, compared with half that for most campervan parks in NZ.

It is the only one which has so far been approved and developed specially for the Cup.

The council is looking at 40 other possible locations to cope with the expected campervan influx next year.

The council has been looking as far north as Kāpiti to meet tourist demand during next year’s cup, says council Rugby World Cup directorate leader Derek Fry.

“We are looking at our parks network,” he says. “So parks with hard stands associated with sports pavilions are a real possibility.”

While Mr Fry says the rugby club network has 18 rugby clubs in the Wellington region suitable parking areas and the capacity for people to use shower facilities.

Concierge for the New Zealand Rugby Union Ezra Iupeli says Petone Rugby Club is well equipped to accommodate teams and fans.

He says during the last Lions tour there were about 50 campervans parked along Oriental Bay, which had upset residents.

“The Lions tour was only one team. With the Rugby World Cup, there could be four teams in the city requiring training venues.

“Some of the teams may be happy for families, couples and mates to stay where they train.”

Waterfront Watch president Pauline Swann says her group supports the new campervan site on Kumutoto Wharf in the short term, as the park is not intrusive.

“We do understand that it’s temporary and will only be used for the Rugby World Cup. And we would like to see a later conversion into an indoor and outdoor recreation area for young people.”

Wellington Waterfront Limited (WWL) manages the Kumutoto site, which opened earlier in March.

WWL’s chief executive Ian Pike says half a million dollars have been spent by the council on the site, which is the only motorhome parking place in the CBD.

“This is the only area where we can accommodate motorhomes. It will be there for probably three years. We may use other sites as an overflow during the World Cup.”

While Te Papa permits campervans to park during the day, Wellington’s visitor centre also recommends tourists use motor parks in Newlands, Upper Hutt and Petone.

Mr Pike says the price for an overnight stay in a van at Kumutoto Wharf during the cup will be $50 (compared with $13 to $22 per adult charged now by most New Zealand campervan sites), which includes power and ablution facilities.

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