“Bountiful Season for Thieves” at Maraetotara Falls. Car Park 50% Gravel 50% Broken glass


“Bountiful Season for Thieves” at Maraetotara Falls

A group of seven international travelers from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Germany and France became crime victims at Maraetotara Falls whilst swimming in the water pool.

A report in the NZ Herald said:

“Frenchman Benoit Thoury said he left the swimming hole about 5pm, after a few hours in the water, to find windows of his van and a fellow backpacker’s car smashed.

The 27-year-old has been living in Hastings for three months and working on an orchard. He lost his French passport, credit cards and $200 cash, all of which had been left inside the vehicle.

He said it was his second trip to Maraetotara Falls after seeing its “beauty” earlier in the year.

“There are many families, children up there. You don’t expect that people would be smashing in windows,” said the tourist who was on his first trip to New Zealand…”

What gave him the impression that New Zealand was a safe destination for tourists, doesn’t he read the news?

Lee Tafford, the owner of Nottingley Villa, the Hastings backpacker hostel where the group was staying told the reporter

“it has been a “bountiful season” for thieves with so many break-ins at the falls, carpeting the carpark in “50 per cent gravel, 50 per cent glass”. “There is a sign up there from the police that says it’s a high crime area, but nothing seems to be done about it … A little surveillance might help.

“It really annoys me because this sort of stuff is preventable,” he said…

Other people in the group included

Krista Wu, 28, from Taiwan, lost her camera and photography equipment during the group’s ill-fated visit to the falls when fellow Taiwanese national Jake Xu, 24, also had his car broken into as they cooled off from the summer sun…

You can read the full report here.

We’ve often called for international visitors to be made more aware of the serious crime problem that is ripping through New Zealand. We have in the past called for ‘left baggage lockers’ in major tourist centres where they can secure valuables.

If you’re planning a trip to New Zealand our advice is to take as little as possible with you and never let it out of your sight.


German Tourists Have Nightmare Injuries: Couple Savagely Beaten and Robbed in Whakatane, German Tourists Robbed in Invercargill

French Public Get to Hear About Tourist Crime in New Zealand

Another Brutal Attack – Albert Town, Otago. Police Raise Concerns for Two Foreign Tourists

Sick German Tourist Attacked in Christchurch, New Zealand “Just for Fun”

It Took 1.5 years to Jail French Tourists’ Attackers; Safer Communities Together

E2NZ revisited: “Bashing Tourists Now a National Pastime?”

Italian tourists robbed on Marae in Jerusalem – twelve people lost $5,000 worth of belongings at a remote marae

German Tourist Seriously Injured in Napier Mugging, French Tourists Pistol Whipped, Sex Attack by Motelier Results in Community Service

Nicole Kleinhoelting, Another German Tourist Loses All in New Zealand

German Tourist Beaten as New Zealanders Stand and Watch

German tourist mugger only given six months community detention

Two More German Tourists, Anke Kuballa and Marc Busch, Robbed In Northland, New Zealand

German Tourists Robbed In Omapere, Northland

German Tourists Attacked in Paihia

Elderly Australian Tourist Stabbed in Head at Waihi Beach, Murder Investigation Launched

Haka Thugs Attack French Tourists Near Raglan 

Vicious Sex Attack on 5 Year Old Belgian Tourist – little girl severely injured in a frenzied attack as she lay sleeping in a campervan in Turangi.

Austrian tourists mugged in Palmerston North

Australian honeymooners lose it all  two tourists robbed near Milford Sound

Te Anau Troubled By Tourist Attacks -drunken youths attack visitors in Te Anau

Swiss Campers’ Tyres Slashed In Kaikoura

Chilean Tourist Robbed, Loses Life’s Work  robbed in a motel near Auckland international airport

“New Zealand is a wonderful country, but be careful as it’s not so safe” – Swiss campervan tourist loses everything in Whangarei

Honeymoon Couple Lose Precious Photos, No ‘Gold Medal’ British couple robbed outside of Auckland zoo

Czech Tourist, Jan Fakotor, Stabbed In Motueka man stabbed in a Motueka backpackers

English tourist mugged in Gisborne female tourist punched and handbag stolen in a street attack, delaying her departure from NZ

Chilean tourist punched, robbed in Nelson man attacked on Nelson cathedral steps by three teenagers

A group of students that were beaten and robbed whilst on a treasure hunt at the Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa, Northland

A series of random, unprovoked attacks in Queenstown

Previous robbery of British tourists at Kerosene Creek

Tourists robbed at Kerosene Creek

Three French tourists beaten and robbed in their campervan in Mangamuka, Northland 

A family of Swiss tourists that were assaulted and racially abused in Kaitaia, Northland

Anke Kuballa and Marc Busch from Germany who were robbed in Whangarei, Northland

A family of five robbed at the roadside whilst camping in their van at Oturere Stream, 25km south of Turangi

Two German tourists attacked in Paihia, Northland

Two American tourists were robbed at Shipwreck Bay in Northland whilst sandboarding

Asian woman, (probably Japanese) age 22, raped in her room by 2 teenagers in a home invasion in Opotiki, Bay of Plenty

Three Chinese tourists attacked and robbed at Te paki, 90 Mile Beach, Northland, by two men they’d stopped to help

French tourist Anthony Cressend, beaten and robbed at campsite in Ahipara, Northland

Two Australian tourists robbed at knifepoint for their holiday money in Te Puke, SE of Tauranga.

Japanese tourist age 23 (female) kidnapped, robbed and assaulted in Rotorua by four men

French tourist (male) raped at gunpoint near Opotiki, Bay of Plenty

American peace corp twins Adam and Alex Rahmlow, 21 were robbed of all their possessions by a man they tried to help in Amberley, Christchurch.

Dutch couple raped and robbed on a campsite in Tuatapere, NW of Invercargill, whilst on their honeymoon. (Dutch govt. issued a travel warning about NZ)

Two Koreans were attacked and robbed of their possession which included a laptop computer by a man claiming to be a gang member in Blenheim.

British tourist worker sexually assaulted near Hururu Falls, Northland when she was dragged off a walking track.

Canadian tourist Jeremie Kawerninski, kidnapped, assaulted and robbed in Lower Hutt, Wellington

Dutch couple robbed and sexually attacked Haruru Falls, Northland whilst on honeymoon.

Two British women robbed and raped in their campervan at Tokomaru Bay, north of Gisborne.

Japanese tourist subjected to a prolonged and brutal sex attack in a communal area of a backpacker’s hostel in Turangi, Taupo.

Scottish woman Karen Aim brutally murdered and robbed by a youth in Taupo.

German woman Birgit Brauer murdered near New Plymouth.

Korean man Jae Hyeon Kim decapitated with a spade by white supremacist.

Japanese tourist robbed at gunpoint in Oamaru.

Irish cycle tourist Paul Mack bashed, robbed and urinated on throughout his NZ tour.

6 English and Danish tourists attacked and stabbed in Cashel Mall, Christchurch for having “foreign accents.”

Irish man Robby O’Brien beaten up in Westport.

 Russian couple Denis Khotchenko and Lera Nesterova beaten and robbed in Milford, Auckland

English woman knifed and sexually assaulted in a toilet block at an A1 motor camp in Kaikoura

American campers Patrick Dykstra and Kelsey McGinley beaten and robbed at Whangarei Falls, Northland.

Australian tourist sexually assaulted on a street in broad daylight in Nelson.

Australian tourist subjected to a sex attack by Maia Crawford Rongonui whilst walking home to a backpackers in Christchurch.

Canadian tourist left with a fractured skull outside Silver Fern backpackers in Taupo.

Dutch tourist beaten and robbed at Lake Rotorua.

British man Paul Speakman and his young son beaten and robbed in a campervan at Athenree Gorge, Katikati.

Chinese woman attacked for speaking Chinese on a train approaching Petone.

Scottish visitor Stuart Martin who was left in a coma and with a boot print on his face after a street bashing in Taradale, Christchurch.