Can you freedom camp in New Zealand?

Can you freedom camp in New Zealand?

New Zealand offers plenty of accommodation options to suit any budget and traveling style.

Camping is the perfect way to enjoy nature!

Most people visit New Zealand to enjoy the beautiful nature and countryside. Whether you are planning to explore the beaches in the Far North, or take a trip down South to see the glaciers, there is something for everyone. It’s the perfect place to enjoy beautiful memories and reconnect with nature!

New Zealand offers plenty of accommodation options for travelers. From boutique glamping spots to farm stays and hotels, you can find a variety of accommodation types to suit your budget and traveling style. One of the more popular ways to travel New Zealand is camping. Locals and tourists alike love to get out and enjoy a camping holiday throughout the country.

Whether you’re pitching a tent beneath the stars, or parking up a campervan alongside one of New Zealand’s many beaches or lakes, camping can be a great way to explore. It allows you more freedom to experience nature and can also be a more cost-effective way to travel.

Many international tourists fly into Auckland or Christchurch, New Zealand’s two international airports, before picking up their motorhome or campervan to begin their adventure. But where in New Zealand can you park up and stay the night? Here is your guide to camping in New Zealand!

Where can I freedom camp in New Zealand?

“Freedom camping” refers to camping on public land that isn’t otherwise recognized as a camping ground or holiday park. In some cases, freedom camping spots can be free or cost very little.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) in New Zealand has basic campsites around the country where you can stay for free. Most of these have bathroom and water facilities available, meaning that you don’t need to be self-contained. DOC also offer a variety of other campsites that have better facilities available, such as flushable toilets and showers, where you can stay for a small fee.

Some areas in New Zealand allow freedom camping for self-contained vehicles only, like motorhomes or campervans that are certified. If you rent a motorhome or campervan for your travels around New Zealand, most of these come fully equipped and self-contained already. If you want to get your own motorhome or campervan certified, you must get your vehicle certified.

However, it’s important to note that many areas in New Zealand have strict rules against freedom camping. Some areas might prohibit camping due to previous inappropriate freedom camping, conservation management, or dangers in the area. You must abide by these rules to ensure your safety and to help keep New Zealand clean. Camping in a prohibited area can result in a $200 infringement fee.

Holiday parks in New Zealand

Holiday parks and camping grounds are a great option for your New Zealand adventure. Staying at a holiday park means you can easily pitch your tent or park up your motorhome, with access to all the facilities you could need for your trip. It takes the stress out of needing to find freedom camping spots, and holiday parks can still be an affordable option.

Holiday parks also offer a range of other accommodation options, like cabins and motel rooms, which are great options for families, couples, and solo travelers who need a little more room or extra facilities.

Staying at a holiday park in New Zealand means that you have friendly reception staff to help you make the most of your holiday too! Reception staff can help you with invaluable local knowledge, as well as assisting with booking activities and tours.

Waihi Beach

White sandy beaches, great surf, incredible hikes and cycling trails… The list goes on! Waihi Beach is the perfect spot for a beach getaway. Whether you’re after a romantic escape or family holiday, Waihi Beach has something for everyone to enjoy.

Stay at Tasman Holiday Parks – Beachaven and make the most of the great location, pizza oven, and kids’ zone. Or stay just down the road at Tasman Holiday Parks – Waihi Beach to enjoy the heated pool, gym, sauna, and spa for ultimate relaxation. Both parks are positioned within walking distance of Waihi Beach and everything the area has to offer.

Papamoa Beach

It really doesn’t get much better than camping right on the beach. Tasman Holiday Parks – Papamoa Beach allows you to park your campervan or pitch your tent with incredible sea views. The park offers clean and modern facilities, plenty to keep the kids entertained, tennis courts, and more.

Most beaches in New Zealand don’t allow freedom camping, so if you want to be as close to the sea as possible, a stay here is a must! With sweeping views across the beach and sea, it’s a truly unbeatable location.

Wander down to local restaurants and shops, take a dip in the ocean, or relax on the beach.


Christchurch is the perfect spot for a metro escape. In the Garden City you’ll find plenty of spots to indulge in delicious food, fun activities for the whole family, and great shopping options. If you’re travelling through the South Island, it’s the perfect place to start or end your journey, or to base yourself for exploring the beautiful South.

Tasman Holiday Parks – Christchurch is within 20 minutes of all the city’s best attractions, and only a short walk away from restaurants, shopping, and more. Park up the motorhome or pitch the tent and be surrounded by trees and nature.

Te Anau

If you are planning an escape down to the South Island, Tasman Holiday Parks – Te Anau is a must-visit. This stunning park is set right along the edge of Lake Te Anau, the gateway to the beautiful Milford Sound. Explore local hikes, biking trails, glowworm caves, waterfalls and more.

After a long day exploring, relax in the hot tubs or saunas while enjoying nature around you. Many people only visit Te Anau for a daytrip, but there is plenty to see and d. So it’s worth staying for a few days to experience the magic in this beautiful area!

Tasman Holiday Parks – Te Anau offers a range of cabins, motels, apartments, powered and non-powered sites to suit any holiday. With options for large groups, families, and couples, Tasman Holiday Parks – Te Anau will make your stay one to remember.

The Tiaki Promise

The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to caring for New Zealand to protect and preserve it now, and for future generations. Tiaki means to care for people and place.

By travelling around New Zealand, you have a responsibility to help look after it. The Tiaki Promise covers key commitments such as caring for the land, travelling safe, and respecting the culture. It is important to remind both locals and tourists to look after the land they are on.

When considering a camping holiday in New Zealand, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the Tiaki Promise and ensure you adhere to it during your holiday to keep New Zealand clean and beautiful. This also means abiding by freedom camping rules and cleaning up your rubbish wherever you travel. Whether you are freedom camping, staying at a holiday park or hotel, the Tiaki Promise is important to keep in mind.

Read more about the Tiaki Promise here and start planning your New Zealand getaway!

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