Campermate’s quest to clean up the countryside
By Ben Fahy,
Freedom camping tends to get a bad rap with the inevitable negative stories about disrespectful visitors leaving a trail of filth behind them, which led to Parliament recently passing the Freedom of Camping Act allowing instant fines for illegal camping.
Over the past 18 months, however, a team of mobile gurus has been trying to remedy this by plugging the information gap that currently exists with a free location-based app called Campermate offering information about nearby rubbish bins, campgrounds, toilets and other amenities. And two of them are trying to get visitors to download it by heading on a ’2-egg roadtrip’ and bribing them with free food.
“There are more and more apps nowadays, and things are getting more competitive for downloads,” said co-founder Adam Hutchinson, who is also behind Christchurch start-up Texsys.
"So we’re going on a two-and-a-half week tour around New Zealand tourist spots and giving them 60kg of bacon – sponsored by Beehive bacon – and eggs.”
Hutchinson said that while Campermate is primarily a smartphone app, there’s also a texting component to it enabling people to message what they’re looking for in a city.
“The app is free because it has been created as a project of passion by a team of enthusiastic and proud Kiwis that love the outdoors and want to do something to help travellers enjoy our beautiful country,” he said.
"If we need more resources we may one day add some advertising, but until then you can enjoy an advertisement-free, free app.”
Hutchinson said they served 350 breakfasts during the Queenstown leg of the cookup to predominantly hungover English tourists, “who took a bit of convincing that the breakfasts were free with no catch”. Just like the app, really.
This story originally appeared on StopPress.