The New Zealand Motorhome and Caravan Association (NZMCA) has bought the old Marton camp behind Marton Park for $200,000 from the Rangitikei District Council to give its members another safe and secure space to stay on their travels.
Wanganui man and project manager Peter Willcox said the site, which now had new fencing and an entrance from Oxford St, was a "real asset" to the association. An old cottage from the site had also been removed. The motorhomes and caravans were all self-sustaining, he said. "So we don't need amenities at all."
The beauty of the Marton site is it's just a two-hour drive from Wellington and, being in the central Rangitikei, it is in a beautiful part of the country, he said.
"And the locals are really stoked. They have been really good to us, helping us get the grounds ready. We hope to be open by Christmas."
Mr Willcox said NZMCZ members were delighted with the news of the Marton camp site.
"We like Marton ... it's such a friendly little town. The people are great, and it really is a very pretty place."
Just a few weeks ago, members had a weekend rally there, he said.
"We spent $4000 in town that weekend, which is pretty good."
The NZMCA have a network of overnight parking sites across New Zealand exclusive to NZMCA members travelling in certified self-contained motor caravans, he said.
All NZMCA parks are free to stay in (although a donation to help maintain the site is appreciated).
They're great because it's safe overnight parking.
The NZMCA owns or leases 19 properties across New Zealand and members can choose to stay at any of the NZMCA parks nationwide in scenic locations including Murchison, Hanmer Springs, Franz Josef, and in most of the major cities and towns.
Rangitikei District Council property manager Graeme Pointon said the council had closed the small camp as a trading activity in 2007 or 2008 and the property was declared surplus.
Even though there were several inquiries, none had come in at realistic market values, Mr Pointon said.
The site was up for public tender earlier this year.