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Auckland Christchurch
Auckland Christchurch

Free Camping NZ

So you are looking at travelling New Zealand and want to know – can I free camp in New Zealand? 

This is a good question and you may get varied answers from different people. New legislation was introduced in August 2011 around freedom camping in NZ. Local councils are now able to issue fines to people freedom camping in non-designated places. It may be a cheap option for a night but that one night could cost you $200 in a fine or more! 

Free camping is still legal in the right places. It is important you understand where you can free camp. We have a great map that shows over 500 freedom camping locations! It is worth having a good look at this and do some planning. 

We recommend using as many of the many great camping ground options available as much as you can. They are often in great locations and provide all the services and facilities you need. Prices do vary so best you do some planning around this. If you need any help please email us at

A powered site enables you to charge your smart phone, lap top, camera. Hiring a mains plug from us for only $40 could be a good option. you will also get access to proper bathroom facilities with a hot shower! Plus you are likely to meet other travellers and locals to share stories with and find out more about things to do and see in New Zealand.

There are also hostels and budget motels and hotels located throughout New Zealand. 

Your Spaceship comes supplied with Department of Conservation (DOC) campground guides for the North and South Island, plus information on all the main holiday park and campgrounds in New Zealand (Top Ten, Family Holiday Parks and so on). You can also visit one of our many Space Mates and find out the best local places to camp.

So in answer to your question – can I freedom camp in New Zealand? Yes you can but only in the correct places. DOC provide around 50 free camps so it's best to use these.  

Have fun out there exploring New Zealand and if you require further information on what to see and do talk with us. We have a huge wealth of information on the best operators and activity providers around New Zealand. Email

Please look after New Zealand while on the road. You can check in at your local i-SITE as you travel for information on where to camp also.


Play it safe 

Remember New Zealand weather can include four seasons in one day. Being prepared is important. If you are planning a walk in the hills or mountains it is best to take a day pack with some food, water and a rain jacket and spare warm clothes. You can browse the below links for further information on New Zealand. 

Visitor Safety Information
Outdoor Safety
Driving Safety
Accident Support


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