I had a favorite camping spot when I was little. It was epic. There was a river, shady trees to camp under, nobody around and endless fields of green. I returned recently and there was shit everywhere. I don’t mean rubbish. I literally mean shit. Word had gotten out about the campsite and so both metaphorically and literally it was shat on. It’s tough really, you want to share your experiences for other people to enjoy, but you don’t want them to destroy it for everyone.
Last weekend we were invited on a trip to a pretty ‘off the beaten track’ surf break (cheers to the GC’s who took us). We woke up at 4, packed into a couple of 4WDs, drove 2 and a half hours then walked for another 45 mins all to arrive for the sunrise. And what a sunrise it was. The soft golden light cast out over the hills and onto the angrily churning coastline was a scene to remember. We spent a bit of time surfing, a bit of time chilling and a bit of time just soaking it all in. It really was a gem of a spot. A spot I would love other people to be able to experience. But wait. If I post this spot online does that mean next time I go there, I’ll be sharing the waves with 20 other people?
That’s what has happened in many a Taranaki spot recently. Since the area began gaining notoriety as a surfer’s paradise, the locals have had their spots overrun. They’ve had campers defecating all over the place, they get dropped in on by ignorant visitors, their spots are no longer theirs and they aren’t happy about it. Some locals blame the app CamperMate for the over-exposure at Paora Rd stating that 3 weeks after CamperMate posted the spot, the single toilet campsite was inundated with up to 30 visitors a night (Stuff Article About Campers).
So what do you share and what do you keep secret? In the case of our trip, we are keeping that one a secret sorry. The spot we went to was shown to us by good people under the rules we kept its location unpublished. The Reason? We went through a bit of a journey to get there, there are minimal facilities to handle more people & nobody really knows about it. If the road was all sealed, you didn’t have to cross private farmland, there were toilets and a shitload of people already knew about it…. Different story, we would have posted it in a heartbeat. But the nature of this spot deserves to be kept unpublished.
If you read this article because you saw the picture and thought we would say where it was, sorry but your shit out of luck. If you want to find a dope surf spot, get out and explore. Talk to some people who can show you first hand. If you want that ‘off the beaten track’ experience, you might just have to log out of TripAdvisor (permanently 😉) and go exploring. As a general rule to follow, just stop and have a think about what you are posting. If you are lucky to be given the privilege of being shown a secret or hidden place, don’t disrespect that. If you found it easily, its already published and known, then you can probably share it ‘till your heart’s content.
Be sure to keep an eye out for our Gallery from the trip…
And if this sort of thing looks like your buzz then hit us up!! We are keen for people to come away with us for a bit of adventuring 🙂