Freedom Camping

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.

Where can you camp?

Fully self-contained

Non self-contained

Holiday Parks Yes Yes
DOC campsites Yes Yes
Designated camping sites with a toilet Yes Yes
Designated camping sites without a toilet Yes No


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.  To be self contained means you must have a certified toliet/waste disposal system onboard.

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 guardian

For more information about freedom camping in New Zealand, please visit

Advantages to Staying at a Holiday Park

  • Holiday Parks provide a safe environment many with gates, security cameras and onsight managers
  • Park facilities including kitchens, showers, toliets, washer and dryers, wifi, playgrounds, pools, stores, restaurants, bbq's and much more make for a more comfortable holiday
  • Staying at a holiday park is a social thing and many people enjoy meeting and interacting with the other guests and finding our the next great adventure to get into the next day.
  • Holiday Parks are a very affordable way to stay and with a Kiwi Discount Membership card you can save on accommodation and activities
  • At Kiwi Holiday Parks you will find friendly helpful service with many parks offering valuable travel advise and complimentary activity bookings.   
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