Freedom camping in New Zealand

Each district in New Zealand has different rules about freedom camping and parking of campervans. Sometime places it’s permitted, and in others  it will result in a fine and you being moved on.

The best place to find information about where you can camp and what rules to follow is from those who know the area. Ask locals for information:

  • i-SITEs
  • Holiday Parks
  • Department of Conservation  (DOC) Visitor Centres and offices

The impact of freedom camping on our environment, as well as safety concerns, means Tourism New Zealand does not recommend freedom camping in New Zealand. Use the camping grounds unless you are in a fully equipped campervan with its own toilet.

Note: these on-board toilets can only be legally emptied from motorhomes into Dump Stations, which are normally found in holiday parks: these are free to use even if you’re not staying in that camping ground. See more tips  here about travelling in a campervan – Loved my time in the Backpacker van I travelled in recently.

Author: Heather - the kiwi travel writer

Nomadic travel-writer, photographer, author & blogger. See more on and Amazon for my books (heather hapeta)

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