Freedom Camping in New Zealand
Although freedom camping is allowed in a number of locations throughout New Zealand, the rules and regulations relating to freedom camping have been significantly tightened to ensure that the privilege of freedom camping in our beautiful country is not abused.
Freedom Camping Rules & Regulations
The rules and regulations relating to freedom camping are administered by the various local councils throughout New Zealand. Many councils do not provide any sites where self-contained or non self-contained vehicles are allowed to freedom camp. Instead campers are encouraged to stay at a camping ground such as those provided by Kiwi Holiday Parks.
Freedom camping regulations do vary considerably between areas and we strongly encourage you to check with the local visitor information centre regarding the rules relating to freedom camping in that area.
Where Can You Camp?
Use the table below to help you determine where you are allowed to camp in New Zealand. We strongly recommend that you stay in Holiday Parks, Department of Conservation camping grounds or other designated areas.
You certainly shouldn’t just assume that you are allowed to freedom camp - you should always check for ‘No Camping’ signs and if in any doubt, ask someone who knows such as the Department of Conservation or local visitor information centre.
Freedom Camping Penalties
Under the Freedom Camping Bill people found to be abusing local freedom camping rules can face an instant fine of $200 for illegal camping, or a court-imposed fine up to $10,000 for dumping human waste.
If you do decide to freedom camp in an area where freedom camping is allowed, you must remember the important value of ‘Kaitiakitanga’ - a Maori word which means guardianship. It’s all about looking after our natural and cultural resources so that future generations can enjoy what New Zealand has to offer.
For more information about freedom camping in New Zealand, please visit www.camping.org.nz
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