Martins Bay camp saving the environment one tent at a time

The new structure is perfect for first time campers.

A luxury glamping tent with power, a queen bed, BBQ, and indoor cooking facilities has been installed at Martins Bay Holiday Park, as part of a test that could pave the way for putting luxury camping into remote landscapes.

Auckland Council holiday parks manager Thomas Patterson said the Eco Structure glamping tent stood out because of its small environmental footprint.

“It is a significant structure with a 4.2 metres squared main room and an additional annex, but being held in place by anchoring rods, it requires no foundation or ground works. This means we can move it when required without impacting the environment,” Thomas said.

He said they were also looking at an adjoining bathroom pod as composting and incinerating toilets now on the market enabled the possibility of putting a self-contained glamping tent in an isolated location.

Edwina Vine

“Once we understand what support the Eco Structures need and how they operate, there is the potential to put them in a remote landscape, whether that is in the bush or atop a coastal cliff.”

Martins Bay Camp manager Edwina Vine said the glamping tents would also mitigate a trend of first-time campers creating waste by buying cheap gear and dumping it at the campground after their stay.

“People can get cheap gear but there is no accountability from retailers in terms of disposing it, and it ends up with us trying to figure out how to recycle it.”

Meanwhile, the campground has made other strides towards preventing rubbish from going into landfill.

The bay is renowned for fishing during summer and, with up to 1500 guests per day and several fishing competitions, the camp had noticed a significant amount of fish waste was going into its landfill bins.

Along with the Council waste minimisation team, Edwina devised a system where fish waste is put into an air tight bin along with sawdust and an enzyme and left to pickle instead of rot.

The bins are then emptied into a trench with sawdust and green waste that composts over time and feeds a grove of banana trees.

“Bananas are what are known as ‘gross feeders’ and absorb any nutrient that is leached from the compost pile very quickly. The idea is we are preventing waste going into landfill. We will also get the fruit, if the pukekos don’t get to it first” Edwina says.

The campground has signed up to the share waste composing programme online and wants locals to talk to them about it.

“Maybe if everyone on the street brought their waste, I could compost it and use it for a community garden.”

See sharewaste.org.nz


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