Mobile homes meet mobile phones as Campermate tries to clean up the countryside

There are currently thousands of tourists gallivanting around New Zealand, and many of them are freedom camping. Mostly, that’s a positive thing. But in some cases it leads to the inevitable negative stories about disrespectful visitors leaving a trail of filth behind them. Over the past 18 months, a team of mobile gurus has been trying to remedy this by plugging the information gap that currently exists with a free location-based app called Campermate that offers information about nearby rubbish bins, campgrounds, toilets and other amenities. And two of them are trying to get visitors to download it by heading on the ‘2-egg roadtrip’ and bribing them with free food. 

“The app is free because it has been created as a project of passion by a team of enthusiastic and proud Kiwis that love the outdoors and want to do something to help travellers enjoy our beautiful country,” says co-founder Hutchison, who is also behind Christchurch start-up Texsys. “… If we need more resources we may one day add some advertising, but until then you can enjoy an advertisement free, free app.”

Youtube Video Hutchison says Campermate is primarily a smart-phone app, but there’s also a texting component to it and people are able to text what they’re looking for in a city.

Youtube Video“There are more and more apps nowadays, and things are getting more competitive for downloads,” says Hutchison. “So we’re going on a two-and-a-half week tour around New Zealand tourist spots and giving them 60kgs of bacon—sponsored by Beehive bacon—and eggs.”

During the Queenstown leg of the cookup, Hutchison says they served 350 breakfasts to predominantly hungover English tourists, “who took a bit of convincing that the breakfasts were free with no catch”. Just like the app, really.

Androids can download here, and iPhoners can download here.

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