Trampers at a ‘cross roads’ for parking
Shane Isherwood Crossroads.
As news of the parking restrictions at the Tongariro Crossing was made recently, Isherwood knew he had the answer.
He lives on State Highway 47, 20 minutes south of Turangi and just five minutes from the Ketetahi car park.
He has seen how bad the parking can get but also how bad the littering and defecation can be.
‘‘We’ve known about this problem for some time now. It’s a surprise no one has been killed.
‘‘I also see the car park as a way to tidy up the area. Here, we’ll have all the tourists in one spot.’’
Tongariro hikers who park for longer than four hours at the start of the crossing will now have their wheels clamped. The new parking restriction came into effect on Labour Weekend and will be in place until April 30, next year. Isherwood was ready to open as well.
Isherwood’s 20ha of land sits right in the World Heritage Park.
Cross Roads car park is a 15 minute drive from the Mangatepopo car park and an even shorter drive from the Ketetahi car park. It will serve as a pick up and drop off point for certain shuttles but also as a overnight is at
aparking spot for freedom campers.
There are no immediate neighbours to the land and during the summer months, the ground becomes rock hard.
Isherwood said the car park is safe and secure and people who park there will come back and see their car still there.
Ruapehu District Council’s business development and relationship manager, Peggy Veen said Cross Roads car park is an ideal solution.
‘‘Defecation and littering is a nationwide problem. Here we’ve got the opportunity to actually manage it. Here’s somebody offering a solution,’’ she said.
While the car park is free to use, a shuttle will still be needed to get to the Mangatepopo car park, which is the start of the Tongariro Crossing.
Four local shuttle companies have joined forces with Isherwood and are offering a return trip for $35.
Isherwood has hired four porta-loos at $100 a week - a cost he is hoping to get some help with.
‘‘If anyone is willing to help with the toilets that would be awesome ... otherwise I’ll have to charge a donation fee.’’