If you are considering a camping holiday in New Zealand, understanding how to be a good "neighbour" with other campers will definitely make your holiday more fun for everyone. We've put together a little guide to help you fit in well with holidaymakers at holiday parks anywhere around New Zealand.
1. Water supplies are often limited at camping grounds, so be conservative with your water use, especially hot water. That means the camp shower is not the place to be luxuriating for hours under the hot water. Do your best to get in, get clean and get out, so the next person in line can use the facilities.
2. Tent walls are thin - so be aware of how much noise you are making. If you have a family with young children camping next to you, chances are they will be trying to put children to bed early. If you want to socialise with your friends, there is usually a shared lounge, games room or hangout area for campers where you can relax and not worry about disturbing others.
3. Shared facilities are exactly that - space to be shared. Make sure you clean up after yourself in the bathrooms and in the kitchen. The camp kitchen facilities normally supply pots and utensils for you to use while cooking - make sure you leave them washed and ready for the next campers to use.
4. Be prepared! That can mean a huge list of things, but a couple to note are again bathroom/toilet related. Remember to take a bag with your toiletries with you when you go to the shower - take a pair of flip flops to wear on your feet in the showers, your own roll of toilet paper in case the supplies have run out, and your towel, even if you are just brushing your teeth. Bathrooms will usually just have electric hand driers, which can be a little difficult to use if you want to dry your face or other freshly washed body parts.
5. Be polite in the queue. Don't push in front of others who are waiting, and take the opportunity to make a new friend if it looks like you will be waiting for a while.
6. Clean up your site when you leave. Make sure you dispose of your rubbish in the bins provided and leave your site looking tidy for the next campers to arrive.
7. Take a chance and make friends. Offer to help out neighbouring campers if they need a hand and just be pleasant. You'll work out pretty quickly if they would rather keep to themselves, but chances are they enjoy being around other campers if they have chosen a popular location. If they are regulars, they will be able to fill you in on all the places to visit and tips about the camping ground.
8. Don't forget to leave a good review - it's always appreciated. If you enjoy your stay, don't forget to take a few moments to fill in a comment card, guest book or TripAdvisor review, and share your photos if you took any. The holiday park owners will be grateful.