Freedom camper finds spot with different ambience
‘‘IT’S got character like no other camping ground.’’
That is how Sam Cootes described Dunedin’s newest trial freedom camping spot in the Thomas Burns St car park last night.
‘‘We’re stuck between a main arterial route and a railway line.
‘‘It’s a lot noisier but it quietens down about 9pm.’’
The 26yearold Dunedin man said he moved out of his rental accommodation two weeks ago, and is now living in a van at the site which opened earlier this week.
He is using the money saved from renting to modify the van into his new ‘‘home on wheels’’.
He already has a large double bed installed, and is working on creating shelving and a bench to install a gas cooker. It even has solar power.
‘‘It’s an easier way to live. It means I can see a bit of our back yard.
‘‘There’s a lot to see and I’m not going to see it if I’m sitting at home.
‘‘I’ve always wanted to do this. This was a childhood dream and now I’m achieving it.
‘‘I’m living the free life. I just hope it’s as good as I always imagined.’’
Once his renovations were complete, he planned to travel further afield.
Mr Cootes said so far he was enjoying the experience.
The camp site has two portaloos, a bench, a sink with running water, rubbish and recycling bins, and enough parks to accommodate 65 vehicles.
‘‘It’s got all the necessities for survival.
‘‘It’s great having a kitchen sink with running water. Having rubbish bins and recycling is a bonus.
‘‘There’s a bit of splashback in the portaloos, but they’re OK.’’
The facilities will remain until late April, when the freedom camping season ends.
Living the free life . . . Freedom camper Sam Cootes, with his new home on wheels, at the Thomas Burns St freedom camping site, in Dunedin last night.