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Tourist drone seized at Tongariro

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Drones are not allowed within Tongariro National Park.

Department of Conservation

Drones are not allowed within Tongariro National Park.

A tourist has been forced to leave New Zealand without their drone after it was confiscated in Tongariro National Park.

It had crash-landed near Emerald Lakes after a group of hikers had thrown rocks at it.

A DOC ranger located the drone and waited for the operator, however, nobody came forward. The next day, the unidentified owner inquired at the Whakapapa Visitor Centre, but were told the drone had been seized. It’s reported they have now left the country. 

Drones are not allowed within Tongariro National Park and the operator had ignored warnings, said Operations Manager Connie Norgate.

* Permit needed to fly a drone on Mt Taranaki, DOC warns
* Dual drone ‘close calls’ in Auckland to be investigated by Civil Aviation Authority
* World famous in New Zealand: Tongariro Alpine Crossing

“With helicopter operations taking place almost daily, drone use puts these aircraft and their pilots at risk,” said Norgate.

“This incident also shows how they disturb other people’s privacy and quiet enjoyment of the outdoors.”

Hikers who see drones in Tongariro National Park are urged to report them.


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