The family of five, comprised of two parents and children aged 10, 13 and a girl of 17. There was also a 17 year old male travelling with the group. They were said to be deeply upset by the incident, but fortunately no one was hurt.
The group was camping in a layby known as the Three Sisters, near the Oturere Stream, State Highway 1, which is approximately 25km south of Turangi.
News reports the following day named the parents as Glenn and Rhonda Moulden from Pukekohe.
The incident is bound to rekindle the debate over the safety of free camping in New Zealand.